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Full text of "The Conservation Atlas of Tropical Forests: Africa"

THE CONSERVATION A 



TROPICAL FORESTS 







;^ '- 




-■^*-t 1 



Africa's forests are being depleted at a faster rate than 
those of any other continent. A major increase in the 
population growth rate began after World War II and 
it is now running at an annual rate of 2.9 per cent, 
resulting in massive demands for agricultural land, 
water, fuelwood and other products. The message of 
this book is that forest conservation must be part of a 
broader process of managing the landscape. 

The forests of Africa present a complex picture. The 
most striking picture to emerge is that only Congo, 
Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Zaire still retain more 
than half of their original forest cover; most of the 
other 32 countries have less than one-fifth remaining. 
Nature conservation, and in particular protected 
areas, have had strong political support in recent 
years, and Africa entered the 1980s with a strong 
network of national parks and forest reserves. By 1991, 
38 African countries had committed themselves to the 
Tropical Forestry Action Plan which supports 
conservation of ecosystems. Many other international 
initiatives have focused attention on the forests of 
Africa. 

The Atlas is divided into two parts. 

Part I describes the issues: history of forests and 
climate; biological diversity; conservation of large 
mammals; forest peoples; links between population, 
environment and agriculture; the timber trade; forest 
management; protected area systems; and the future 
for Africa's forests. 

Part II is a country-by-country survey of the forests of 
Africa. The forest maps have been compiled from 
satellite and radar imagery and aerial photography, and 
were provided by forest departments, development 
agencies and international organisations. FAO and 
UNEP in particular have provided much appreciated 
co-operation, and both text and maps have been been 
written, compiled and reviewed by a broad spectrum 
of specialists. They represent the best published maps 
of Africa's forests available today. 

As the Atlas makes clear 'the knowledge and resources 
are now available and the time has come to translate 
the many plans and strategies into practical action. It 
is against this that our descendants will judge the 
success or failure of our conservation efforts. ' 



4^^G 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge 



http://www.archive.org/details/conservationatla92saye 



THE CONSERVATION ATLAS 

OF 

TROPICAL FORESTS 

AFRICA 



Contributors 



Simon Anstev, >X'WF-Intemational, Gland, 

Switzerland 
E.O.A. AsiBKY, World Bank, Washington, D.C., 

USA 
Serge Bahuchet, Centre Nationale de 

Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France 
Robert Bauhy, Department of Anthropology, 

University of California, Los Angeles, USA 
Andrew Bai-viford, Large Animal Research 

Group, University of Cambridge, UK 
R.K. Bamfo, Forestiy Commission, Accra, Ghana 
RjCHARD Barnes, Wildlife Consen-ation 

International, University of California, San 

Diego, USA 
Richard Barntx'ELL, VCWF, Godalming, Surrey, UK 
Joseph B. Bessong, Forestry Depanment, 

Yaounde, Cameroon 
Neil Bird, ODA, Kumasi Ghana 
A. Blom, ^X'^X'F, Epulu, Zaire 
K.T. BoATENG, Forestry Depanment, Accra, 

Ghana 
Denys Bourque, Quebec, Canada 
Neil Burgess, RSPB, Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK 
Peter Burgess, Suffolk, UK 
John Burlison, Nature Conservancy Council, 

Balloch, Scotland 
Tom Butynski, Impenetrable Forest 

Conservation Proiect, Uganda 
G. Caballe, Institut Botanique, Montpellier, 

France 
Julian Cai.decott, Cambridge, UK 
Pierre Campredon, IUCN, Bissau, Guinea- 
Bissau 
Richard Carroll, NX'>X'F, Dzanga-Sangha, 

Central African Republic 
Ja\ter Castro\tejo, Asociacion Amigos de 

Donana, Seville, Spain 
Kevin Cleaver, Worid Bank, Washington, D.C, 

USA 
NoNiE Coulthard, RSPB, Sandy, Bedfordshire, 

UK 
Michael Crosby, ICBP, Cambridge, UK 
Alan Cross, UNEP/GRID, Geneva, Switzerland 
Gly'N Davies, ODA, Nairobi, Kenya 
Jean-Pierre d'Huart, WWF, Brussels, Belgium 
Charles Doumenge, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland 
Francoise Dowsett-Lemaire, Liege, Belgium 
Joseph Dudley, Department of Biology and 

Wildlife, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, USA 
Pat Dugan, IUCN Wetlands Programme, 

Gland, Switzerland 
Chris Eluott, WWF-Intemational, Gland, 

Switzerland 
John Fa, Irish Town, Gibraltar 
Julia Falconer, ODA, Kumasi, Ghana 
J. H. Fr^^ncoise, Forestry Department, Accra, 

Ghana 
K. Frimpong-Mensah, Institute of Renewable 

Resources, Kumasi, Ghana 
Steve Gartlan, W\XT, Douala, Cameroon 
K. Ghartey, Forestry Department, Accra, 

Ghana 
Donald Gordon, WCMC, Cambridge, UK 



Arthur Green, WWF, Korup National Park, 

Cameroon 
Gl-EN Green, Geology Department, Macalester 

College, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA 
Michael Green, WCMC, Cambridge, UK 
John Hall, School of Agricultural and Forest 

Sciences, Bangor, UK 
Alan C. Hamilton, WWF, Godalming, Surrey, UK 
Alexanlier Harcouri , Department of 

Anthropology, Universir\' of California, Davis, 

USA 
John Hart, Wildlife Conser%ation International, 

Project Okapi, Epulu, Zaire 
Terese Hart, Wildlife Conservation 

International, Project Okapi, Zaire 
William Hawthorne, ODA, Kumasi, Ghana 
Philippe Hecketsw eiler, Institut Botanique, 

Montpellier, France 
Barry HE^XTETT, Tulane University, New 

Orieans, USA 
Peter Howard, Kampala, Uganda 
Mark Infield, WWF-Intemational, Gland, 

Switzerland 
Gil Isabirye-Basuta, Kibale, Uganda 
Mariin Jenkins, Cambridge, UK 
Andy Johns, Kibale, Uganda 
Peter Jones, Department of Natural Resources 

and Forestry, Edinburgh University, UK 
Scott Jones, Bristol, UK 
Chris Justice, NASA, Goddard Space Flight 

Center, Greenbelt, USA 
Francis K.'vsisi, WWF-Intemational, Gland, 

Switzerland 
Ronald Keay, Cobham, Surrey, UK 
Jackie Kendall, NASA, Goddard Space Flight 

Center, Greenbelt, USA 
Olivier Langrand, WWF, Antananarivo, 

Madagascar 
Nigel Leader-Williams, Large Animal 

Research Group, University of Cambridge, 

UK 
Damien Levcis, London, UK 
Michel Louette, Musee Royal de I'Afrique 

Centrale, Belgium 
Richard Lovse, Botany Department, University 

of Ibadan, Nigeria 
Peter Lowry, Missouri Botanical Garden, St 

Louis, USA 
H.F. Maitre, Centre Technique Forestier 

Tropical, Nogent-sur-Mame, France 
Claude Martin, WWF-Intemauonal, Gland, 

Switzerland 
James May'ERS, WWF, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania 
Mankoto ma Mbaelele, Zaire Institue for 

Nature Conservation, Kinshasa, Zaire 
Jeff McNeely, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland 
Tom McSHANE,^X'WF-US, Libreville, Gabon 
Erica McShane-Caluzi, WWF-US, Libreville, 

Gabon 
Ji:an-Boniface Memvie, Forest Service, 

Libreville, Gabon 
Hadeun Mertens, WWF, Kinshasa, Zaire 
Alain Monfort, Liege, Belgium 



Don Moore, US Geological Survey, Eros Data 

Center, Sioux Falls, USA 
Th. MuLiJiR, National Herbarium and National 

Botanic Garden, Harare, Zimbabwe 
Dominique N'Sosso, Ministry of Forest 

Economy, Brazzaville, Congo 
John Oa pes. Hunter College, City University of 

New York, USA 
Katie Offert, N^-ungwe Forest Conservation 

Project, Rwanda 
Nicola O'Neill, Swansea, Wales 
J.G.K. Owusu, Insitute of Renewable Resources, 

Kumasi, Ghana 
RiSTO Pai\'1NEN, FINNIDA, Finland 
Prince Palmer, Forestry Division, Sierra Leone 
Alexander Peal, Forestry Development 

Authority, Liberia 
Jean-Yves Pirot, IUCN Wetlands Programme, 

Gland, Sw^itzerland 
Roger Polhill, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 

Surrey, L^K 
Derek Pomeroy, Zoology Department, 

Makerere University, Uganda 
G. PuNGESE, Department of Game and Wildlife, 

Accra, Ghana 
S.J. Quashie-S.«i, Institute of Renewable 

Resources, Kumasi, Ghana 
Simon Rietbergen, IIED, London, UK 
Anne Robertson, National Museums of Kenya, 

Nairobi, Kenya 
Alan Rodgers, Cambridge, UK 
Alison Rosser, Cambridge, UK 
Per Ryden, IUCN, Gland, Switzeriand 
Jacqueline Salter, IUCN, Gland, Sw^itzerland 
GoTZ Schreiber, World Bank, Washington, 

D.C, USA 
Heinrich Stoll, Bremen, Germany 
David Stone, Begnins, Switzerland 
Simon Stuart, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland 
Robert Sussm,'\n, Anthropology- Department, 

Washington Universitv, St Louis, Missouri, 

USA 
Ian Thorpe, School of Biology, University of 

East Anglia, UK 
R.^phael TsiIj^, Ministry of Forest Economy, 

Brazzaville, Congo 
K. TuEOUR, Forestry Commission, Accra, Ghana 
Caroline Tutin, Lope Reserve, Gabon 
A.MY Vedder, Wildlife Consenation 

International, New York, USA 
Fred Vooren, Forestry Department, University 

of Wageningen, Netherlands 
John Waugh, IUCN, Washington, D.C, USA 
Clive Wicks, VCAX'F, Godalming, Surrey, UK 
Roger Wii.son, FFPS, London, UK 
Ron Witt, UNEP/GRID, Geneva, Switzerland 
Peter Wood, RSPB, Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK 
Ip.M-Mv.^ Yobwa, Forest Inventory and 

Management Sen'ice, Kinshasa, Zaire 



In addition authors and reveiwers are acknowl- 
edged at the end of each chapter. 



THE CONSERVATION ATLAS 

OF 

TROPICAL FORESTS 

AFRICA 



Editors 
Jeffrey A. Sayer 

International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Gland, Switzerland 

Caroline S. Harcourt 

World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK 

N. Mark Collins 

World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK 

Editorial Assistant: Clare Billington • Map Editor: Mike Adam 

World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge 




M m 

ACMILLAN ^^ 



The World 

Conservation 

Union 



^^^ WORLD CONSERVATION 

MACMILLAN ^^^ monitoring centre 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

This atlas was produced under the Forest Conservation Programme 
of lUCN, The World Conservation Union. lUCN's work in 
tropical forests receives financial support from the government of 
Sweden. Much of the research, editing and map preparation was 
done at the World Conservation Monitonng Centre which is 
supponed by lUCN, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and 
the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); the Centre 
is also part of UNEP's Global Environment Monitoring System 
(GEMS) towards which this atlas is a contribution. 

lUCN is especially indebted to The British Petroleum Company 
p. I.e. for the original idea for the atlas and for the generous fund- 
ing which has enabled the research for the project to be undertaken. 

Thanks also go to IBM, for providing a computer which was 
used for running the geographic information system (GIS) needed 
to compile the maps, and to the Environmental Systems Research 
Institute (ESRI) of California which provided the ARC/INFO soft- 
ware for the project. Petroconsultants Ltd of Cambridge kindly 
made available 'MundoCart", a world digital mapping database 
which proved invaluable in the preparation of this atlas. 



Contributors to the atlas are listed earlier and their labours are 
much appreciated. A work of this nature, however, inevitably rep- 
resents the labours of hundreds of people who have painstakingly 
documented the forests, researching their ecology and wildlife, and 
who have laboured over the production of the maps from field work 
to final printing. Heartfelt thanks are offered by the editors to all 
these unnamed people. 

The editors would also like to thank all their colleagues at lUCN 
and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, without whose 
dedicated work this project would not have been possible. In 
WCMC, particular thanks go to Harriet Gillett and Donald 
Gordon for information on conservation areas, to Simon Blyth and 
Gillian Bunting for work on the maps and to Barbara Brown, James 
Culverwell, Brian Groombridge and Martin Jenkins for much 
appreciated and varied assistance. At lUCN, invaluable help was 
provided by Ursula Senn, Jacqueline Sawyer and Jill Blockhus. 
Finally, Paul Woodman at the Royal Geographical Society gave us 
considerable aid with, among other things, correct spellings of 
ever-changing place names. 



Copyright f: lUCN 1992 

All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No paragraph of this publication 

may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 

1988, or under the terms of any licence permitting limited copying issued by the Copyright Licencing Agency, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London WIP 

9HE. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. 



First published in the United Kingdom by Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 
Distributed by Globe Book Services Ltd 
Brunei Road, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hants RG21 2XS 



1992 



British Cataloguing in Publication Data 

Sayer, Jeffrey A. 

The Conservation atlas of tropical forests. 

Afnca. 

I. Title II Harcoun, Caroline S. Ill Collins, N. JVlark 

574.5022 

ISBNO 333 57757-4 



Acknowledgement of Sources 

The sources of the country maps are given at the end of each chapter. 

The sources of the illustrations and maps are given in footnotes and captions. 

Designed by Robert Updegraff. 

Map Production by Lovell Johns, Oxford 

Typeset by BP Intergraphics, Bath, Avon. 

Printed and bound in Singapore 



Contents 



Foreword 6 

Part I: The Issues 

1 Introduction ^ 

2 History of Forests and Climate 17 

3 Biological Diversity 26 

4 Case Studies in Conserving Large Mammals 33 

5 Forest People 43 

6 Population, Environment and Agriculture 49 

7 Timber Trade 56 

8 Forest Management 62 

9 The Protected Areas System 69 

10 A Future for Africa's Tropical Forests 81 

Part II: Country Studies 

11 Benin and Togo 97 

12 Burundi and Rwanda 102 

13 Cameroon UO 

14 Central African Republic 119 

15 Congo 125 

16 Cote d'lvoire 133 

17 Eastern Africa 143 
Djibouti Somalia 

Ethiopia Sudan 

Kenya Tanzania 

18 Equatorial Guinea 161 

19 Gabon 168 

20 The Gambia and Senegal 175 

21 Ghana 183 

22 Guinea 193 

23 Guinea-Bissau 200 

24 Indian Ocean Islands 206 
Comoros Reunion 

Mauritius Seychelles 

25 Liberia 214 

26 Madagascar 221 

27 Nigeria 230 

28 Sao Tome and Principe 240 

29 Sierra Leone 244 

30 Southern Africa 251 
Angola Mozambique 

Malawi Zimbabwe 

31 Uganda 262 

32 Zaire 270 

Acronyms 

Glossary ^^^ 

Index of Species ^°^ 



General Index 



287 



Foreword 

The loss of the world's tropical forests is one of today's most publicised, debated and least understood environmental issues. 
Some articles give the impression that the destruction is so rapid and catastrophic that by the end of the century there will be 
only scattered remnants of forest in increasingly embattled national parks. More than half the species that live on land are 
inhabitants of the tropical forests and a simple extrapolation leads to dire conclusions about what forest clearance means for the 
world's biological diversity. 

But the situation is far more complicated than that. The statistics of total forest loss - 17 million hectares a year, an area 
considerably bigger than Switzerland - mask an intricate pattern of variation from country to country. The causes of forest loss 
also vary, though clearance for cultivation is generally the most important. 

Deciding what policy to pursue is not easy for tropical governments who are striving to meet the needs of growing populations 
and to secure economic growth that will allow them to end degrading poverty and provide food security, health care, education 
and employment. For such nations, forest resources are vital. For many people the forests are the only homes they have ever 
known. 

Used sustainably for meat, nuts, fruits, gums, wild rubber, fibre, medicines, rattans and carefully extracted timber, tropical 
forests can provide a continuous supply of materials and income to human communities and at the same time maintain local 
climate, regulate the run-off of rainfall and lock up some of the carbon dioxide, the accumulation of which is causing climatic 
change. Used destructively the forests may give Gross National Product a quick boost but often leave local communities ruined. 

Governments everywhere are reviewing their policies and moving towards sustainable management. They are negotiating 
international conventions to conserve biological diversity and halt climate change. Conventions on Forests and Biodiversity are 
also being discussed. Wise use is central to all these initiatives but conventions cannot work without sound knowledge of the 
forests themselves: where they are, what species exists in them and what essential services they provide. It is a remarkable and 
disconcerting truth that we lack much of this essential knowledge today. 

In 1974 Reider Persson wrote, in a ground-breaking survey of the world's forest resources, 'we know quite a lot about the 
moon, but we do not know how much of the earth is covered by forests and woodlands.' His words are still true. The problem 
is particularly acute for Africa. Although we have the capacity to use remote sensing to monitor in considerable detail what is 
happening in tropical forests, no forest map has ever been produced for some countries and for many the statistics available from 
different sources are contradictory. 

This atlas is an attempt to present the facts on forest extent and loss in Africa. It addresses the issues central to forest 
conservation and sustainable use. What are the real causes of loss? What are the values of the forests to the people of Africa? 
How can these values be translated into tangible benefits for the poor rural societies who live in and around the most diverse 
forests? 

The volume begins with an analysis of ecological history. Contrary to popular belief that tropical forests are ancient and 
unchanging, those of Africa have changed a great deal with the past few tens of thousands of years in response to alterations in 
climate and sea level. These dynamics need to be understood. The later chapters analyse the characteristics of today's forest, 
the ways forest-dwelling peoples use them and the implications of agricultural and social trends. The role of the timber industry 
as a potential force for conservation or destruction is evaluated. 

The maps are the heart of the atlas. They have been much more difficult to compile than in our previous volume on the forests 
of the Asia/Pacific region. Those for most of West Africa and large parts of Central Africa have never before been published. 
These maps are based on satellite imagery obtained in the past few years and they give a new picture of the dramatic decline in 
the forests of these areas. The continent is losing its forests faster than any other region. Thirty per cent have already gone and 
the remainder are being eroded at 1 per cent per year. In Central Africa, where very large tracts of forest remain, they are being 
fragmented and encroached upon by small farmers. Even light disturbance makes them very vulnerable to fire. Finally, most of 
Africa's closed forest occur under rainfall regimes which are marginal for this type of vegetation and as a consequence they are 
more vulnerable to disturbance or small changes in climate than those of other regions. 

This atlas is offered to all concerned with conservation and sustainable living in the forested zone of Africa. Those processes 
will only come about if they are a priority of the peoples of Africa. Conservation programmes that seek to impose external views 
are doomed to failure. There is a new emerging generation of African conservationists who are well aware of the materials and 
cultural value of the forests to African societies. Many of them have contributed to this atlas. We hope that the atlas will be of 
value to them and to their nations in ensuring that Africa's wonderful forests, and the diverse animal life they support, remain a 
prized asset in the 21st century. 

Martin Holdgate 

Director General 

lUCN - The World Conservation Union 



PARTI 



Geological Time Scale 



Eon 



Phanerozoic 



Era 



Cenozoic 



Period 



Quaternary 



Tertiary 



Proterozoic 



Archaean 



Mesozoic 



Paloeozoic 



Pre- 
cambrian 



Neogene 



Poloeogene 



Cretoceous 



Jurassic 



Triassic 



Permian 



Carboniferous 



Devonian 



Silurian 



Ordovician 



Cambrion 



Vendian 



Ripheon 



early Proterozoic 



Epoch 



Holocene 



Pleistocene 



Pliocene 



Miocene 



Oligocene 



Eocene 



Polaeocene 



late Cretaceous 



eorly Cretoceous 



late Jurossic 



middle Jurassic 



early Jurassic 



Pennsylvonian 



Mississippian 



lote Riphean 



middle Riphean 



early Riphean 



Archaean 



53 



225' 



500 



1300 
1600 

2500^ 



4550 



Time (Mo) 



570- 



2500- 



3000- 



4000- 



4550- 



viu 



1 Introduction 



Africa is, essentially, a continent of woodlands and grasslands; it 
contains more than twice as much open woodland as closed canopy 
forest. Indeed, satellite images of Africa show clearly that this is 
the driest of the three main tropical continents (National 
Geographic, 1990, pp. ii-iii). Rain forests now cover only about 7 
per cent of the land area. Africa's rain forests represent slightly less 
than one-fifth of the total remaining global resources, while Asia 
holds slightly more than a fifth and Latin America still contains 
almost three-fifths. Asia's rain and monsoon forests are depleted 
by half (Collins et al, 1991), while those of tropical America 
remain more intact covering at least four-fifths of their early 20th 
century extent. The figures in this Atlas reveal that the forests of 
Africa are the most depleted of all with only one-third or so of their 
historical extent still remaining. (See Table 10.1, which assumes 
that areas classified by White (1983) as forest/savanna mosaics 
were once completely forested.) Furthermore, West Africa's 
forests are being lost faster than those of any other region. 

In the 1 990s Africa's forests are under severe and growing pres- 
sures. Annual deforestation rates m Africa's closed canopy forests 
for the years 1976-80 were estimated to be about 0.61 per cent of 
the total closed forest area in 1980 (FAO/UNEP, 1981). FAO has 
yet to finalise its statistics to a 1990 baseline but moist forest loss 
is likely to be about 1 per cent per year (FAO, 1990). Annual defor- 
estation is more serious in West Africa (2.1 per cent) than in 
Central Africa (0.6 per cent) . There are indications that unplanned 
deforestation, and environmental degradation in general, are close 
correlates of human population growth. As chapter 6 of this vol- 
ume reveals, Africa's population growth rate is now running at 2.9 
per cent (doubling time 24 years), an expansion that is resulting in 
massive demands for agricultural land, water, fuelwood and other 
natural products. Notwithstanding this, as chapter 2 relates, the 
forests of Africa are even now considerably more extensive than 
they were during the most recent high latitude glacial advance 
around 18,000 years ago. 



Forests of the Region 

The limits of African tropical forests shown in this Atlas are based 
on the recent definitive vegetation classification provided by F. 
White's memoir and 1:5 million scale map (1983). As in the 
Asia-Pacific Atlas (Collins et al., 1991), only the closed canopy 
tropical forests are mapped. Selected forest types are shown, gen- 
eralised from White ( 1 983), in Figure 1.1. 

Africa's closed canopy tropical moist forests run from the man- 
groves of Senegal on the west coast of the continent to the mon- 
tane forests of Jebel Hantara near the eastern tip of Somalia. Most 
of the countries of West Africa were once clothed in forest from 



the coastline to deep inland, but agricultural and urban expansion 
have led to large-scale deforestation and fragmentation, graphically 
presented in Figure 1.2. The relict blocks of forest left at Gola in 
Sierra Leone (chapter 29), Sapo in Liberia (chapter 25) and Tai 
in Cote d'lvoire (chapter 16), are now of global importance as the 
last significant remnants of the structurally complex, species-rich 
forests of the Upper Guinea zone. 

In Central Africa there still remains a vast, more or less contin- 
uous expanse of rain forest. Although whittled away by fire and 
agriculture on its borders, and by exploitation along the banks of 
the great rivers of the region, large areas of little-disturbed forest 
remain. Indeed around 80 per cent of the rain forest on the conti- 
nent is concentrated in this region, panicularly in Zaire. As Figure 
1 .3 indicates, this area of the continent still has the opportunity for 
strategic planning for conservation and economic development. 
To the south, the main forest block gives way to dense miombo 
woodlands with scattered patches of dry deciduous forest. 

In East Africa the moist forest peters out as the cHmate gradu- 
ally becomes more arid. Increasingly, forest occurs only in strips 
bordering rivers, along the tops of mountains, or on the wet coastal 
hills. These fragmented forest patches share problems of severe 
encroachment and exploitation, yet they harbour a high propor- 
tion of plant and animal species which are found nowhere else in 
the world. Many of these forests are the subject of individual con- 
servation programmes, which are rearguard actions to save the last 
remnants of pristine forest lands. 

Forest Classification 

White's memoir and map, published by Unesco, was the result of 
some 1 5 years of cooperation between Unesco and the Association 
pour I'Etude Taxonomique de la Flore de I'Afrique Tropicale 
(AETFAT). AETFAT's Vegetation Map Committee, whose 
members compiled the materials from which White worked, 
included many distinguished autliorities. Building upon earlier 
works such as the well-known Yangambi classification of tropical 
Africa (Trochain, 1957) and Keay's (1959) vegetation map of 
Africa, White's classification has withstood scrutiny for almost a 
decade, and looks set to do so for several more. The greatest threat 
to its boundaries, predictably, is the rapid expansion of anthropic 
landscapes at the expense of natural vegetation. 

White's classification identifies 1 6 major vegetation types or for- 
mations, all based on structure and physiognomy without recourse 
to climatic or other environmental considerations (Table 1.1). 
There is a wide diversity of woody vegetation types, including for- 
est, thicket, shrubland, Afroalpine vegetation, scrubland, man- 
grove and bamboo; woodland being the most widespread (White, 
1983, p. 47). Africa differs from tropical Asia in the occurrence of 



Introduction 




Notes: 

1 Three of the four forest types shown Oowland, 
montane and swamp) comprise a combination of 
White's (1983) forest and forest mosaic categories, 
as explained in detail in Table 1.2. 
The map represents the potential outer hmits of 
moist forest vegetation in the recent past, but note 
that the areas around the edge of the main forest 
block were mapped by White ( 1 983) as 
forest/grassland mosaics, and may never have been 
totally forested. 

3 To the east of the swamp forests of the Cuvette 

Centrale in Zaire, White (1983) portrayed a mosaic 
of swamp forest and lowland rain forest. In this 
map it has been mcluded in the lowland rain forest 
category. The location of this zone is shown in 
Figure 32.3. 

4 This adas is concerned with tropical forests, 

therefore the montane forests of temperate southern 
Africa, which are shown here for completeness, are 
not considered within it. 



Lowlond forest 
Montone forest 
Swamp 
Mon grove 

see Toble 1 .2 (or a fuil explonotion of itie forest types included 



Figure 1 . 1 The distributional limits of the forest types from which selections have been made for this Atlas (generalised from White, 1 983) 
10 



Introduction 

numerous closed canopy woody vegetation types which do not and Mosaics' (i.e. categories 1-5, 8, 9, and 11-19). Added to these 

contain trees, but shrubs or bushes instead. For this reason the four are forests in the tropical altimontane category (category 65 of 

major categories of Schimper (1903) which were broadly applied White) and mangroves (category 77). Forest types excluded from 

in the Asia-Pacific volume of this Adas, are inadequate here. In the coverage are dry forests (categories 6 and 7 of White), dry for- 

the Unesco memoir the 1 6 formations are sub-divided into 80 est mosaics (categories 2 1 and 22) and forests outside the tropics 

mapping units (White, 1983, Table 4). Table 1.2 sets out in detail (10, 20 and 33). 

the Unesco mappmg units that have been selected and combined Dry evergreen forests in the Zambezian region (category 6) are 

to delimit the classification used on the maps appearing in Part II separated from the rain forests by a broad swathe of miombo wood- 

of this book and Figure 1.1 shows them in a generalised form. land. Although they were once probably extensive (Aubreville, 

Table 1.2 should be studied in detail to appreciate the context 1949), they are today confined to tiny, mosdy disturbed fragments 

of the maps within this Adas, but a few words of explanation are in a matrix of wooded grassland. Dry forest also occurs in West 

needed: Africa where it is virtually confined to deep riverine ravines in Mali, 

In the main, the limits of forest lands covered by this Atlas are and to the coastal plain of Ghana (White, 1983, p. 46). Mali is not 

defined by the tropical rain forests and montane forests found covered in this Adas, and any relicts of dry forest remaining in 

within the boundaries of White's 'Forest' and 'Forest Transition Ghana cannot be distinguished from the rain forests. At the scale 

Table 1.1 The main vegetation types of Afi-ica, as described by White (1983, Tables 1 and 3) 
Formations oj Regional Extent 

1 Forest 

A continuous stand of trees at least 10 m tall, their crowns interlocking. 

2 Woodland 

An open stand of trees at least 8 m tall with a canopy cover of 40 per cent or more. The field layer is usually dominated by grasses. 
3a Bushland 

An open stand of bushes usually between 3 and 7 m tall with a canopy cover of 40 per cent or more. 
3b Thicket 

A closed stand of bushes and climbers usually between 3 and 7 m tall. 

4 Shrubland 

An open or closed stand of shrubs up to 2 m tall. 

5 Grassland 

Land covered with grasses and other herbs, either without woody plants or the latter not covering more than 10 per cent of the 
ground. 

6 Wooded grassland 

Land covered with grasses and other herbs, with woody plants covering between 10 and 40 per cent of the ground. 

7 Desert 

Arid landscapes with a sparse plant cover, except in depressions where water accumulates. The sandy, stony or rocky substrate 
contributes more to the appearance of the landscape than does the vegetation. 

8 Afroalpine vegetation 

Physiognomically mixed vegetation occurring on high mountains where night frosts are liable to occur throughout the year. 

Transitional Formations of Local Extent 

9 Scrub forest 

Intermediate between forest and bushland or thicket. 

10 Transition woodland 

Intermediate between forest and woodland. 

11 Scrub woodland 

Stunted woodland less than 8 m tall or vegetation intermediate between woodland and bushland. 

Edaphic Formations 

12 Mangrove 

Open or closed stands of trees or bushes occurring on shores between high and low water mark. Most mangrove species have 
pneumatophores or are viviparous. 

13 Herbaceous fresh- water swamp and aquatic vegetation 

14 Halophytic vegetation 

(saline and brackish swamp). 

Formation of Distinct Physiognomy but Restricted Distribution 

15 Bamboo 
Umiatural Vegetation 

16 Anthropic landscapes 

(Source: White, 1983) 

11 



Introduction 



P D 



■yi. 



T* lip Ug „° ° ° ; 



--=P[f 




West Africa \ 


mangrove [ 1 


loresl 1 1 


mixed agriculture, | j 


aegraaea totesi 


savanna | | 


Obscured by cloud | | 


1:4,000,000 

100 


km 


50 


100 miles 




Figure 1.2 Rain forests of West Africa (Paivinen and Witt, 1989) 




Figure 1.3 Rain forests of Central Africa 
12 



Introduction 




of resolution of Map 21.1, the whole of the coastal thicket and 
grassland zone as defined by the 'Vegetation Zones' maps pub- 
hshed by the Survey of Ghana (1969) is, in any case, deforested. 

In Madagascar the dry deciduous forest (White's category 7) was 
the dominant vegetation below 800 m on the western side of the 
island, but the forests have now been much degraded by fire and graz- 
ing livestock. As in mainland Africa, this forest type has not been 
mapped in the Atlas, but it is shown on a figure (26. 1) in chapter 26. 

At the continental scale of mapping employed by White (1983), 
swamp forests are mostly confined to the more or less permanently 
flooded areas of rain forests in the Cuvette Centrale of Zaire. In 
this Atlas, where nations have been mapped individually, we have 
departed from White (1983) in retaining the swamp forest vegeta- 
tion type where national maps have indicated this formation, even 
though it may fall outside White's categories 8 and 9. 

In mountain areas low stature forests {sensu lato) are classified 
by Unesco as shrubland or thicket; bamboo also occurs. Details of 
the limitations applied to the montane forest category are given in 
Table 1.2. These mapping units have taken priority over other, 
national, definitions of montane forest (where they exist), in the 
interests of consistency. 

Gallery forests growing on river banks in otherwise very seasonal 
vegetation types are not mapped in this Atlas and their contiibu- 
tion to total forest cover is not assessed or discussed. This is 
because of practical difficulties in that gallery forests (also called 
riverine or riparian forests) are often too narrow to map at the scales 
used and they are not consistently depicted on source miaterials. 
The biological importance of gallery forests in seasonal climates is 
well recognised in Africa (particularly along East Africa's rivers), 
but they fall outside the scope of this Atlas. 




Africa's rainforests range from the dense evergreen forests of the lowlands 
to montane forests, such as that shown here in Kalmzi-Biega National 
Park in Zaire, where the vegetation is dominated by tree heathers 
(Ericaceae). C. Doumenge 

13 



Introduction 

Table 1 .2 Forest formations of Africa as described by White (1983) with details of the categories of White's classification used to define 
each forest type mapped in this Adas. 



White's (1983) Categories 

Number Name 

FOREST 



Categories used to define various rain forest formations in this Atlas 

Lowland dryland Wetland inland Aiontane Wetland coastal 

rainforest (swamp) forest rainforest (mangrove) forest 



Notes 



1 


Lowland rain forest: wetter types 






(a) Guineo-Congolian; 


+ 




(b) Malagasy 


+ 


2 


Guineo-Congolian rain forest: 






drier types: 


+ 


3 


Mosaics of la and 2 


+ 


4 


Transitional rain forest 




5 


Malagasy moist montane forest 




6 


Zambezian dry evergreen forest 




7 


Malagasy dry deciduous forest 




8 


Swamp forest 




9 


Mosaic of 8 and la 


+ 


10 


Mediterranean sclerophyllous forest 





+ 
+ 



FOREST TRANSITIONS AND MOSAICS 



11 



12 



13 



14 



15 
16 



17/18 



19 



20 



21 



22 



23 



24 



Mosaic of lowland rain forest 
and secondary grassland 

(a) Guineo-Congolian; 

(b) Malagasy 

Mosaic of lowland rain forest, 
Isoberlinia woodland and 
secondary grassland 
Mosaic of lowland rain forest, 
secondary grassland and 
montane elements 
Mosaic of lowland rain forest, 
Zambezian dry evergreen 
forest and secondary grassland 
West African coastal mosaic 
East African coastal mosaic 

(a) Zanzibar-Inhambane; 

(b) forest patches; 
(c)Tongaland-Pondoland 
Cultivation and secondan' 
grassland replacing upland 
and montane forest 1 7 African; 
18 Malagasy 

Undifferentiated montane 
vegetation (a) Afromontane; 

(b) Sahelomontane; (c) Malagasy 

Transition from Afromontane 

scrub forest to Highveld 

grassland 

Mosaic of Zambezian dry 

evergreen forest and wetter 

miombo woodland 

Mosaic of dry deciduous forest 

and secondary grassland 

(a) Zambezian; (b) Malagasy 

Mediterranean montane forest 

and altimomane shrubland 

Mosaic of Afromontane 

scrub forest, Zambezian scrub 

woodland and secondary grassland 



+ 
+ 



OTHER FOREST VEGETATION TYPES 



la 
lb 



6 

7 
8 
9 
10 



11a 



65 



77 



Altimontane vegetation in 
tropical Africa 
Mangrove 



13 



15 
16 



16c 

17/18 

19a-c 

20 

21 

22 
23 

24 



65 
77 



14 



Introduction 



The areas of remaining forest are taken from the most reliable 
source for individual countnes and superimposed on the areas delim- 
ited by White's (1983) map. This makes it possible to depict the exist- 
ing forest patches within the extensive areas categorised by White as 
mosaics of forest and other vegetation (mainly anthropogenic grass- 
land, but with some natural grassland in montane areas). 

Forest Cover 

As in the Asia-Pacific volume of this Atlas, the maps shown here 
do not include woodland, forest plantations or extensive areas of 
shifting cultivation where these are shown in source material. In 
Africa, as in Asia, it is, however, very difficult to recognise forest 
that has been locally disturbed by cultivation or, even extensively, 
by logging (chapters 7 and 8 describe the various systems of forest 
use and management in greater detail). The areas mapped as sin- 
gle units of forest are therefore frequently mosaics of relatively 
undisturbed, plus disturbed, forests. It is important for the reader 
to appreciate that even though large belts of cultivation and 
plantations have been excluded from the maps, the areas of forest 
still include enclaves, sometimes quite extensive, of disturbed and 
degraded vegetation. In some cases, therefore, our maps show 
larger areas of forest than are suggested by other sources. 

Geographic Boundaries 

The Atlas limits are essentially the forested countries within the 
tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. On the eastern side of the con- 
tinent, the big mountain massif of Ethiopia contains the northern- 
most rain forests while in the south, the Atlas includes 
Mozambique and Zimbabwe, which has small patches of montane 
forest near its eastern border, but omits South Africa. The southern 
limit here is arbitrary because, as White's memoir makes clear, there 
is no sharp change in forest structure, physiognomy or floristics at 
any particular distance fi-om the equator. On the west side, the most 



northerly forests to be mapped are the mangroves of Senegal and the 
southern limit is the rain forest in Angola, In the Indian Ocean the 
whole of Madagascar is included (southern limit 25.5^), as well as 
the Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius and Reunion. 

Issues which Affect Africa's Forests 

The layout used in the Asia-Pacific volume of this Adas has been 
adopted here, with the first part setting out some of the important 
issues affecting the conservation and management of Africa's 
forests today. Chapter 2 gives an insight into the recent (m geo- 
logical terms) history of the main forest blocks. The popular mis- 
conception that forests are primeval and unchanging is laid to rest 
with descriptions of how the forest boundary has fluctuated dur- 
ing the Pleistocene. In chapters 3 and 4 the biological richness of 
the forests is described, and the management problems associated 
with elephants and primates are selected as examples to illustrate 
the issues in detail. Chapters 5 and 6 bring in the human element, 
with a chapter on forest peoples, concentrating on the so-called 
pygmy tribes, and an evaluation of the links between population, 
environment and agriculture. The forests have always been a 
source of revenue from timber, and aspects of the trade are detailed 
in chapter 7, wlile the following chapter analyses current man- 
agement of forests and the impact of the ever-growing demand for 
timber on the forests and economics of the region. 

Protected areas remain the cornerstone of conservation strate- 
gies in Africa, yet the rain forests remain less well protected than 
other biomes on the continent. Chapter 9 examines the effective- 
ness of protected areas, the need for expansion of the regional sys- 
tem, and the limitations in training, management and knowledge 
that reduce its effectiveness. The final chapter in Pan I looks at the 
future of Afnca's tropical forests, teasing the issues apart and draw- 
ing them together again in an effort to inject realism into pro- 
grammes to conserve forests. 



Notes for Table 1.2 

la This is mostly setni-evergreen fotesi but in 
West Africa includes three relatively small 
enclaves of evergreen "hygrophilous coastal ever- 
green Guineo-Congolian rain forest' (White, 1983 
p. 76); for a discussion of these two kinds of low- 
land rain forest see Whiimore (1990). 

lb Evergreen rain forest formerly extended along 
the entire length of the east coast of Madagascar but 
much has now been replaced by secondary grassland 
and regrouth and destroyed for culnvanon. 

4 Transitional to Afromontane forest; largely 
destroyed. 

6 Small areas of dry forest separated from the rain 
forests by miombo woodland. Not mapped in this 
Atlas. 

7 Once dominant in western IVladagascar, now 
fragmented and restricted. Nor mapped in this 
Atlas (but see Figure 26.1). 

8 In a few places, well-supponed information on 
swamp forests falling outside White's areas 8 and 

9 has been included in the swamp forest category. 

9 Discussed in 8 above. Peatswamp forest has not 
yet been found in Africa (Whitmore, 1990), 

10 Outside the tropics. Not mapped in this Atlas, 

1 1 a This occurs as a very extensive arc surround- 
ing the central rain forest core and very little 
remains as forest, 

13 Occurs within 11a, 

15 Occurs within 11a, 

16 At the scale of the Atlas 16b includes most of 
the remaining forest. The more extensive type 1 6a 
is extensively modified by humans and has only 
very tiny forest patches in some cases too small to 
map and I6c, outside the tropics, is not mapped, 

17/18 This mapping unit, which is extensive in 
central Madagascar, includes three vegetation 



types in east Madagascar: (i) sclerophyllous mon- 
tane forest (1300-2300 m), (ii) tapia forest 
(800-1600 m) and (iii) secondary grassland. Only 
the first is a rain forest; tapia forest occurs on the 
western slopes of the upland massif in a rain 
shadow and has a hot, dry climate. For the Atlas 
those parts of 1 8 are mapped which occur east of 
the watershed, on the rain relief slopes. When 
remaining forest cover is superimposed, very little 
of this montane forest type remains, 

1 9a The high mountams of Africa occur as small 
areas in Libena and Cameroon in the west and as a 
long archipelagi^Lke chain along the eastern side run- 
ning from c 17 5'N m Entrea to 32,5"'S in the 
Winterberge range in South Africa, This cham 
includes White's mappmg unit 65, The most exten- 
sive massif IS in Ethiopia south of Eritrea at c, 7- 1 5°N, 
The vegetation is a mosaic (White, 1983 pp, 1 63-9} 
of various sons of forest, bamboo, evergreen bush- 
land and thicket, shrubland, mixed Afroalpine com- 
munines (above the treeline and including the famous 
giant senepos and giant lobelias mappmg unit 65), 
and grassland which 'today is the most extensive veg- 
etation type on the African mountains'. 

19b Very small, dry forest formations. Not 
mapped in this Atlas, 

I9c Small areas of high mountain bushland and 
thicket set in secondary grassland, 

20 Outside the tropics. Not mapped in this Atlas, 

21 See 6 above. Not mapped in this Atlas, 

22 See 7 above. Not mapped m this Atlas, 

23 Outside the tropics. Not mapped in this Atlas, 

24 Scrub forest outside the tropics. Not mapped 
in this Atlas, 

65 See notes on 19a, 

77 In a few places, well-supporied information on 
mangrove forests falling outside White's area 77 
has been included in the mangrove category. 



Country Studies 

Pan II examines the situation of each country in detail. Basic statis- 
tics are provided at the head of each chapter. The land area, which 
excludes bodies of water in the country, is from FAO (1989) and 
it is this area that is used in calculations such as per cent of the 
country protected or per cent covered with rain forest. Actual 
country area (i.e. including water bodies) is frequently given in the 
text. Economic data, demographic statistics and predictions are 
from the 1990 Datasheet supplied by the Population Reference 
Bureau (PRB, 1990). Forest cover statistics from FAO (1988) are 
compared with data from the maps shown in this Atlas. However, 
for countries where good maps of forest cover do not exist, we have 
been able to produce only generalised maps based on sketch maps 
provided by people familiar with the country. In these cases we 
have not attempted to derive any statistics from our maps as these 
might be misleading. FAO's figures are for closed broadleaved 
forest, i.e. 'those which cover with their various storeys and under- 
growth a high proponion of the ground and do not have a contin- 
uous dense grass layer allowing grazing and spreading of fires. They 
are often, but not always, multistoreyed. They may be evergreen, 
semi-deciduous, deciduous, wet, moist or dry' (FAOAJNEP, 
1981). In other words, this definition includes the mangrove, 
swamp, montane and lowland forests for which the Atlas maps give 
separate figures but also includes areas of forest along river banks 
in dry country and dry forests, neither of which is considered here. 
Forest product information (see Table 1.3) is compiled from the 
1991 FAO Yearbook (FAO, 1991). 

Country chapters use a standard format as far as is practicable, 
with a preliminary overview followed by an introduction to the 



15 



Introduction 



Table 1.3 Definition of forest products 

Industrial roundiuood this is wood in the rough, i.e. in its natural state 
as felled or otherwise harvested. It includes wood removed from 
outside, as well as inside, forests. The commodities included are 
sawlogs and veneer logs, pulpwood, other industrial roundwood and, 
in the case of trade, chips and particles and wood residues. The 
statistics include recorded volumes as well as estimated unrecorded 
volumes. Fuelwood and charcoal is excluded from this figure, whereas 
it was included in the roundwood figures given in the Asian Adas. It 
is a much greater component of roundwood in Africa than it is in Asia. 

Fuelwood and charcoal both coniferous and non-coniferous wood 
are included. 

Processed zuood rhe figures given are aggregates of the figures in FAG 
(1991) for sawnwood and sleepers and wood-based panels. The 
sawnwood may be planed or unplaned and it generally exceeds 5 
mm in thickness. The wood-based panels include veneer sheets, 
plywood, particle board and fibreboard. 

In cases where countries have not reported to FAG, the information 
supplied in the Yearbook has been taken from national yearbooks, 
from reports, from unofficial publications or has had to be 
estimated by FAO. [Smm: fao, iqqd 



nation and a detailed account of its tropical forests, their manage- 
ment and extent. Statistics on the areas of forest, their rate of 
deforestation and information on the map provided are discussed, 
with full references and sources. Floristics are not described in detail 
since this would take the Adas beyond its intended size, but sources 
for further reference are generally noted, along with basic informa- 
tion on dominant tree species and species of economic significance. 

Nations of eastern Afiica (chapter 1 7) , southern Afinca (chapter 30) 
and small islands in the Indian Gcean (chapter 24) are considered 
together to enable their many common problems to be treated within 
a space consistent with the ver>' limited area of their moist forests. 

A central aim of this series of atlases is to place the resources and 
management of tropical forests into the context of conservation of 
biological and ecological diversity, i.e. to manage the forests sustain- 



ably without degrading their productivits' or biological diversity. An 
indication of the richness of fauna and flora is presented for each 
nation, attention being drawn in particular to threatened species and 
species of economic concern. Initiatives in policy, strategy or on the 
ground are recorded and discussed. The representativeness of the 
protected area system is scrutinised and details of all the existing and 
officially proposed protected areas are presented in tabular form. 

Those protected areas that include moist forests within iheir 
boundaries are noted, and the data compiled for consideration 
regionally in chapter 9, where data on Biosphere Reserves and 
World Heritage Sites will also be found. At the generalised level of 
mapping developed here, conservation areas that include relict 
fragments of forest may not be recorded. 

Maps 

Every country chapter includes a map or series of maps, mostly at 
a scale of 1:3 million or 1.4 million, detailing the remaining rain 
forests and the conservation areas in the region. These maps are 
drawn from a wide variety of sources. Geographic Information 
System (GIS) technology has been used to superimpose satellite 
imagery data, forest cover maps, protected area maps and vegeta- 
tion maps (notably White, 1 983 - see Table 1 .2) to produce a series 
of coverages consistent in content and classification. 

Each map is accompanied by a comprehensive legend that not 
only acknowledges in detail the sources used, but also explains 
what steps have been taken to harmonise the sources with the clas- 
sification given in Table 1 .2. All protected areas are mapped where 
their locations are known. However, for some of the areas precise 
boundaries were unobtainable, in which case the areas are repre- 
sented by circles based on the centre-point of the park or reserve. In 
the first volume of this Atlas conservation areas smaller than 50 sq. 
km were not shown; in this volume they are indicated by a circle and 
listed in the tables. 

Availability of Data 

The spatial data recorded in this volume are stored in digital form 
at the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK. 
The Centre will be pleased to collaborate with organisations wish- 
ing to apply the data in the interest of nature conservation. 



References 

Aubreville, A. ( 1 949) Climals, Forets et Desenifications de I'Afrique 

Tropicale. Societe d'Editions Geographiques, Maritimes et 

Coloniale, Pans, France. 
Collins,N. M., Sayer,J. A. and Whitmore, T. C. (1991) Comervanon 

Adas of Tropical Forests. Asia and the Pacific. Macmillan, London 

in association with lUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 256 pp. 
FAO (1988) Second Interim Report on the State of Tropical Forests 

Report to the 10th World Forestry Congress, Paris, France 

Forest Resources Assessment Project. FAO, Rome, Italy. 2pp 
FAO (1989) FAO Production Yearbook Vol. 42. FAO, Rome, Italy 
FAG (1990) Second Interim Report on the Stale of Tropical Forests 

Repon to the 10th World Forestry Congress, Paris, France 

Forest Resources Assessment Project. FAG, Rome, Italy. 2pp 
FAO (1991) FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 1977-1989. FAO 

Forestry Series No. 24 and FAO Statistics Series No. 97. FAG, 

Rome, Italy. 
FAGAJNEP (1981) Forest Resources of Tropical Africa. Part 1: 

Regional Synthesis. FAO, Rome, Italy. 
Keay, R. W. J. ( 1959) Vegetation Map of Africa South of the Tropic 

of Cancer. Explanatory Notes. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 

UK. 24 pp. with coloured map 1:10 million. 
National Geographic (1990) Atlas of the World. Sixth Edition. 



National Geographic, Washington, DC, USA. 136 pp. 
Paivinen, R. and Witt, R. (1989) The Methodology Development 

Project for Tropical Forest Cover Assessment in West Africa. 

Unpublished report. UNEP/GRID, Geneva, Switzerland. 
PRB (1990) 1990 World Population Datasheet. Population 

Reference Bureau Inc., Washington, DC, USA. 
Schimper, A. F. W. (1903) Plant- geography upon a Physiological 

Basis. Fisher, W. R., Groom, P. and Balfour, I. B. (translators). 

Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. 
Survey of Ghana (1969) Ghana: Vegetation Zones. Survey of 

Ghana, Accra. 1 sheet map. 
Trochain, J. (1957) Accord interafricain, sur la definition des 

types de vegetation de I'Afrique tropicale. Bulletin Institut Etudes 

Centrafricaine U.S. 13-14, 55-93. 
White, F. (1983) The Vegetation of Africa: a descriptive memoir to 

accompany the Unesco/AETFAT/UNSO vegetation map of Africa. 

Unesco, Paris, France. 356 pp. 
Whitmore, T. C. (1990) An Introduction to Tropical Rain Forests. 

Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK. 226 pp. 

Authorship 

Mark Collins, WCMC 



16 



2 History of Forests and 
Climate 



Introduction 

Mankind has greatly altered the distribution and charaaeristics of 
tropical forests in Africa (Hall and Swaine, 1981). Forest margins 
have shrunk with the spread of agriculture and burning, while 
forest composition and structure have been influenced even in 
apparently remote places by past settlement or collection of forest 
products. In a soil survey in apparendy pnstine or near-pristine 
forest on the East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania, charcoal was 
found at almost all sites, pottery was encountered in two, and one soil 
pit even passed through house foundations (Hamilton and Bensted- 
Smith, 1989). This is not particularly unusual. Ecologists who have 
walked many kilometres into apparently natural forest often report 
similar signs of former human occupation (although it is noted that 
in some cases charcoal could have originated from natural fires). 

Agriculture may be less than a few thousand years old in tropi- 
cal Africa. Some of the earliest indications are increases in the 
abundance of oil palm pollen in sediments dating to 3500 BP (years 
before present) in Ghana (Talbot, 1983) and 3000 BP in Nigeria 
(Sowunmi, 1981). Major forest clearance believed to be associated 
with agriculture dates back to about 2000 BP in East Africa 
(Hamilton, 1982). Before agriculture, woodland burning started 
by people could have been a factor modifying forest margins for 
hundreds of thousands of years. Indeed, the oldest archaeological 
sites indicate that humans in China had controlled use of fire about 
half a million years ago (Leakey, 1981). Burning will have sharp- 
ened the forest/savanna boundary and made these two vegetation 
types more distinct from one another (Keay, 1959). 

Human impact is superimposed on large-scale alterations in the 
distribution and composition of African forests caused by climatic 
change. Climate is always changing, but fluctuations have been 
particularly marked in tropical Africa during geologically recent 
times, notably during the 2.43 million years which have passed 
since the first major glaciation in the northern hemisphere 
(Shackleton t^ ai, 1984). The first evidence for major temperature 
reduction in Africa during the upper Tertiary or Quaternary 
Periods dates to sometime between 2.51 and 2.35 million years 
ago (Bonnefille, 1983), that is, probably coincident with the onset 
of that first glaciation. This is but one example of the numerous 
links which have now been found between the timing of climatic 
changes in northern temperate latitudes and in the African trop- 
ics; some further instances are noted later in this chapter. 

Climatic and Forest Changes Before 40,000 BP 

African tropical forests are known to contain fewer species of ani- 
mals and plants (e.g. trees) than those of Southeast Asia and South 
America (Haffer, 1974; Hamilton, 1982). It has been suggested 
that African forests were once more diverse, but suffered extinc- 



tions at times of severe climate, especially dry phases during the 
Quaternary. The effects of Quaternary aridity could have been 
moderated in Southeast Asia by the proximity of many forests to 
the sea, while in America there may have been a greater number 
of moist forest refugia than was the case in Africa. 

Although extinctions may have resulted from fluctuations in for- 
est cover and forest types related to climatic change, climatic fluc- 
tuations must also have created opportunities for rapid evolution 
for some forest organisms. Climatic change will have resulted in 
the repeated isolation and connection of populations of some 
species. Speculation on patterns of speciation related to forest his- 
tory (Gautier-Hion et al, 1988) suggests that some groups of 
organisms, such as guenons, have had complicated histories and it 
can be difficult to describe evolutionary connections of modem 
taxa from their present distribution and morphological similarities 
alone. This is a field in which considerable progress will soon be 
made with the application of modem techniques for comparing the 
relationships of different populations using isoenzyme and DNA 
analyses. 

A summary of evidence for climatic and forest variation in Africa 
for the past 8.8 million years is given in Hamilton (1988) and on 
Figure 2.1. There are various indications, including those from 
analysis of minerals and other sediment constituents in deep-sea 
cores collected from the North Atlantic (Stein and Samthein, 
1984), that there has indeed been a trend towards increasing arid- 
ity between 8.8 million years ago and the present in tropical Africa. 
Superimposed on this general tendency, there have been shon- 
term climatic oscillations related to earth orbital variations, known 
as the Croll-Milankovitch variations. These oscillations have 
always existed, but were relatively subdued before 2.43 million 
years ago; after this date, and especially since 1 million years ago, 
Croll-Milankovitch climatic oscillations have become more pro- 
nounced, related to the beginning and later the intensification of 
the Quaternary ice ages. 

The 21 or so major world glaciations over the past 2-3 million 
years have been marked by temperature changes in Africa and, 
more significantly from a biological point of view, by changes in 
rainfall. The fact that, during the Quaternary, Africa has been sub- 
ject to repeated fluctuations between more humid and arid phases 
is well shown by deep-sea cores from the Atlantic and Indian 
Oceans. These contain bands of sediment rich in desert dust alter- 
nating with layers with reduced quantities of such terrestrial sedi- 
ment (Pokras and Mix, 1985). Pollen in some cores has been stud- 
ied (e.g. by van Campo et al., 1 982) and the results compared with 
meteorological models of climatic change (Rossignol-Strick, 1 983; 
Rossignol-Strick et al, 1982). The comparisons show that most. 



17 



History of Forests and Cumate 



Years before 
the present 

0| 



t,000 



Years before 
the present 



Millions of years 
before the present 



2,000 



3,000 



4,000 



5,000 



6,000 



7,000 



8,000 



9,000 - 



10,000 



11,000 - 



Major clearance 
ol some fofesi In 
East Airi(o 



Geneially lower 
lake levels, reduced 
Nile flow and drier 
(lirmte 



Reduction lowland fores! 
WesI and Central Africa. 
Some moist montone forests 
becoming drier 



Probable agriculture 
with oil palm in 
West Africa 



Possible early fores) 
cleoronce East Africa 



Generolly 
high lake 
levels 



First evidence for replacement of some 
moist lowland forests by drier forests 



Maximum 

extent of 
moist forest 



Recession 

in some 
lake levels 



Maximum 
lake levels 



Some evidence lor slight 
foresl reduction 



Forest expansion 



10,000 



20,000 



30,000 



Generally 
high lake 
levels and 
moist 
climole 



Major foresl 
expansion begins 



Lower levels in some lakes 



I Mojor increose temperature 
deglocialion Mt Elgon 

I Monsoons become much wetter, 

lakes rise, Lake Viclorio overflows 
I increose lemperoture Rwenzori 



70,000 



80,000 '— 



Terminal Pleislocene and 
Holocene, generally wel ond 
warm, with forest extensive 



^' 



World glacial maximum, maximum cold and 
dry m tropical Africa lokes or rivers low forest 
very reduced 



Somewhol warmer ond wetter 



Some lakes high 



Somewhot colder and drier than subsequent period 
A brief wormer, wetter episode 



Worm Rapid climatic oscillations 
40,000 — Cold some montone foresl 

Worm expansion 



Ice retreat on 
Rwenzori 



Last world 
glacial 
period. 
/■ Generally 
drier and 
colder than 
now in 
tropical 
Africa 



Poorly known in detail 



Last interglacial 
relatively wel and 
forest extensive 



?1 world glacials, most, but not oH, 
generoting dry climates in Iropical 
Africa interglacial periods wet in 
Iropical Africa 

Oner periods more pronounced 

First major Northern hemispheric 
glocialion first evidence of mo|or 
lemperolure reduction in Iropical Africa 



— Brood pattern of Eost 
Africon vegetation 
established by at leosl 
37m. yr Wet/dry 



4 — Oscillations present 



Wetter than now 
in N Kenya or 
N E. Ethiopia 



■Lj 



Mediterranean dried up Antarctic 
ice expanded climate drier in 
Africa expansion af Savanna 



Tropicol Africo relatively 
warm and wet 



Wel lower altitude moist 
forest in N W Etiiiopio 



Figure 2.1 Changes in climate and forest in Africa during the last 8.6 million years 



CiHislrucleit by Alon Homiflon and David Taylor 1 988 



(Source.- Kingdon, 1090) 



though not all, ice ages have been dry times in tropical Africa, 
marked by forest reduction, and that interglacial periods have been 
wetter, with forest expansion. The severity of the and periods has 
increased during the Quaternary (Stein and Samthein, 1984). 

The fossil record yields very little palaeobotanical evidence for 
continent-wide extinctions of African forest plants which can be 
attributed to a Miocene-to-Quatemary drying trend in the climate. 
Most interesting are fossils of dipterocarp trees at several pre- 
Quaternary localities in East Africa (Ashton, 1982). Dipterocarps 
are a major component of modem moist tropical lowland forests 
in Southeast Asia (see Collins et al., 1991), but are totally absent 
today from continental Africa. 

In contrast to a lack of evidence for extinctions (very probably 
due to a shonage of studies), there is considerable macrofossil and 
pollen evidence from East Africa showing a decline in the e.xtent 
of both forest as a whole and of mesic forest types in panicular over 
the past 20 million years (Bonnefille and Letouzey, 1976; Yemane 
et al., 1985). A lower Miocene macrofossil assemblage from 
Rusinga Island, Lake Victoria, is noteworthy for its abundance of 
Annonaceae seeds (Chesters, 1957). This plant family is com- 
monest today in the wettest African forests and is poorly repre- 
sented in the modem, relatively dry semi-deciduous forests which 
grow near Lake Victoria. The previous abundance of Annonaceae 
at Rusinga provides some evidence of former moister conditions. 



A pollen diagram from the plateau of Ethiopia shows moist low- 
land or submontane forest existing 8 million years ago. There is a 
complication here because the site has been tectonically uplifted, 
but, when this is discounted, there is no doubt that the climate was 
wetter than it is today. Some plants were present which no longer 
grow in Ethiopia, but survive in the main Guineo-Congolian 
forests (Yemane ei al., 1 985). A remarkable absentee is Podocarpus 
pollen, which is always present in sites younger than 3 million years 
in Ethiopia (Bonnefille, 1987). Considering the good representa- 
tion of this pollen type in the modem pollen rain in East Africa, it 
seems cenain that the genus must have been absent from Ethiopia 
at the time. It is presumed to have been present in southern Africa, 
from which it subsequently migrated northward (Bonnefille, 
1987). 

Fossil fruits of the lowland forest tree Antwcaryoii, as well as 
associated mollusc and mammal fossils, provide evidence of a more 
diverse forest flora and fauna and a wetter climate near Lake 
Turkana 3.4-3.3 million years ago than exist at present (Bonnefille 
and Letouzey, 1976; Williamson, 1985). Fossil wood from the 
same area, derived from riverine forest trees and dating to 4-1.5 
million years (mostly 2-1.8 million years ago), is rather rich in 
species, some of which no longer occur in Kenya or Ethiopia, but 
survive in the Guineo-Congolian forests (Bonnefille, 1984; 
Deschamps and Maes, 1985). 



18 



History of Forests and Climate 




Figure 2.2 South-west Uganda 



(Source; Taylor, 1988) 



An unresolved issue related to climatic and forest history con- 
cerns the time (or times) of connection of the isolated and 
endemic-rich forests near the East African coast (fragmented low- 
land forest patches occurring from Somalia to Mozambique and 
submontane forest on the Eastern Arc Mountains of Kenya and 
Tanzania) and the main Guineo-Congolian forests further west. 
This is of great interest from the evolutionary point of view 

Forty per cent of forest tree species on the East Usambara 
Mountains (one of the Eastern Arc forests in Tanzania) are not 
found in the main Guineo-Congolian forests (Hamilton and 
Bensted-Smith, 1989), while for other groups of organisms such 
as millipedes and tree-frogs, levels of endemism are even higher. 
These high levels of endemism indicate long isolation. Cenainly 
there must have been little biotic connection, so far as trees, tree- 
frogs and millipedes are concerned, between east and west forest 
zones for millions of years. However, the mammals of the East 
African coastal forests are less distinctive and have probably been 
able to move more freely between west and east, perhaps making 
use of intermittent connections through riverine forest. 

Climatic and Forest Changes during the Past 40,000 Years 

Tlie environmental history of tropical Africa is comparatively well 
known for the past 40,000 years and it is possible to give a more 
continuous and detailed account of climatic and forest changes. This 
is a useful time-band, because it includes part of the last world glacia- 
tion (about 70,000 to 12,500/10,000 BP), containing die particularly 
severe Wurm II glaciation, centred on 1 8,000 BP and an interglacial 
stage, extending from the end of the glacial up to the present. 

Some of the best evidence comes from analysis of the fossils, 
especially pollen and other constituents of sediments beneath mod- 
em lakes, swamps and bogs. The account here is woven around 
the pollen records contained within the sediments under two 
swamps in the Rukiga Highlands, Kigezi, south-western Uganda 
(Figures 2.2-2.4). Many valleys in these highlands contain 
organic-rich sediments, offering some of the best opportunities in 






POlllB 
ZONE 

m 




= uimpJe (onlmni 

offlmbomb ■'[ 



10 10 30 50 1010 10 11)30 10 10 10 10 10 30 50 70 10 10 10 30 10 10 10 10 10 30 10 10 10 10 10 1010 30 50 10 10 10 30 10 10 10 30 10 30 10 30 10 10 30 10 30 10 10 10 30 50 



Figure 2.3 Pollen diagram from Muchoya Swamp, south-west Uganda (altitude 2260 m) 




10 30 50 70 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 30 SO 70 10 10 30 IC 10 10 10 10 10 30 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 30 50 70 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 30 SO 10 10 10 30 SO 10 10 30 50 70 10 •, 

Figure 2.4 Pollen diagram from Ahakagyezi Swamp, south-west Uganda (altitude 1830 m) 

Only pollen types believed to be denved ftom non-wetland species are included (thus Gramineae is excluded). .Abundances are expressed as percentages of dryland pollen. f.Voiirce: Taylor, 1988) 



19 



History of Forests and Climate 

tropical Africa for studies of environmental evolution. A more 
detailed account of the environmental history of the Rukiga 
Highlands is contained in Taylor (1988), which is fully acknowl- 
edged as a source of much of the information given here. 

One of the mires, Muchoya Swamp (2260 m altitude), is today 
surrounded by mountain bamboo Anindmaria alpma of probable 
anthropogenic origin and the other, Ahakagyezi Swamp (1830 m), 
by cultivated hillsides. Before the arrival of agriculture, the vege- 
tation around both sites was moist montane forest, a remnant of 
which still survives at Bwindi (see case study on the Impenetrable 
Forest, chapter 31) about 10 km distant from each of the two sites 
(Figure 2.2). Bwindi is the richest forest in East Africa in terms of 
numbers of species of mammals, birds and possibly trees and con- 
tains, among other rare species, a population of mountain gorilla 
Gorilla gonlla berengei. 

Both pollen diagrams show a major division at about 1 1 ,000 BP, 
with higher altitude types of vegetation being present on the hills 
around the swamp before this date (back to about 40,000 BP) and 
lower altitude vegetation thereafter. Evidence for this includes the 
abundance at one or both of the sites of such pollen types as 
Anthospemium comp. (i.e. the pollen is similar to (compares with) 
pollen from the genus Anlhospennum), Artemisia, Cliffonia, 
Ericaceae, Hagenia and Stoebe (all from characteristically higher 
altitude plants) before about 1 1,000 BP and of such pollen types 
as Alchoniea, Cyarhea comp.. Ilex and Macaranga capensis later (all 
from characteristically lower altitude forest plants). This signifi- 
cant finding confirms that temperature depression was a feature of 
central Africa during much of the last ice age, as it was in many 
other parts of the world. 



Summarising the evidence for temperature reduction in tropi- 
cal Africa at the height of the last ice age (18,000 BP), it is esti- 
mated from the altitudes of past glaciers that temperatures in East 
Africa were reduced by 6.7-9.5°C compared with today; these cal- 
culations make allowance for likely changes in precipitation 
(Humi, 1981; Livingstone, 1980). Pollen diagrams from altitudes 
between 1830 and 4000 m in East Africa show a lowenng of veg- 
etation zones by about 1000 m, equivalent to a fall in temperature 
of about 6^C (Hamilton, 1 972; van Zinderen Bakker and Coetzee, 
1972). The lowest place for which there is fossil evidence for tem- 
perature depression lies below an altitude of 1000 m in Ghana, 
where the presence of the olive tree, Oka europaea capensis, and 
pollen and cuticles of pooid grasses point to temperature reduc- 
tion of several degrees centigrade (Talbot et al., 1984). 

The effects of this and presumed earlier phases of major tem- 
perature depression on lowland forests in Africa need to be further 
explored. Past phases of cold climate may have exerted a lasting 
influence on the characteristics of modem altitudinal distribution 
of African forests, through causing the extinction of species intol- 
erant of relatively low temperatures. Assuming that vegetation at 
all altitudes was depressed by 1000 m during the more severe 
Quaternary cold periods, it seems that many species restricted dur- 
ing pre-Quatemary wanner times to the lowermost 850 m altitu- 
dinal band of forest may have become extinct (sea-levels were low- 
ered by about 150 m during the ice ages). If such extinctions did 
occur, then it can be predicted that the basal 850 m of forest veg- 
etation in tropical Africa at the present time will show a different 
pattern of altitudinal change to that at higher altitudes. The 850 
m of forest should represent a single floristic zone, occupied after 



Fire has had profound unpads upon Africa's forests for millennia: an annual grass fire in savanna hahuat lu Ghana. 



D. and I. Gordon 




20 



History of Forests and Climate 



increase in temperature at the end of the last, and earlier, ice ages 
by the upward altitudinal colonisation of near sea-level species that 
survived. In contrast, higher altitude forest vegetation may be 
expected to show a more continuous pattern of floristic change 
with increasing altitude. 

Turning now to consider the earliest period recorded in these 
Kigezi pollen diagrams, there is evidence from Muchoya Swamp 
(from another pollen diagram, not that shown on Figure 2.3) and 
from a nearby swamp in Rwanda, Kamiranzovu (Hamilton, 1982), 
that there was at least one phase at about 40,000 BP when the 
climate was as warm as it is today. Temperatures as high as this do 
not recur in central Africa until after 1 1 ,000 BP. Interestingly, a 
very similar phenomenon is known from England, where temper- 
atures were at least as high as they are today for a few hundred 
years at about 40,000 BP (Lowe and Walker, 1984); this was the 
warmest episode known in England between the end of the last 
interglacial period about 70,000 years ago and the modern post- 
glacial period, after about 13,000 BP. Surely, this inter-continen- 
tal correlation cannot be coincidental: very widespread climatic 
change is indicated. Whatever the cause of the climatic events at 
about 40,000 BP, they may have been of considerable biological 
significance. Neanderthal man was replaced by modem man at 
about this time in Europe; was this triggered in some way by sud- 
den adverse climatic change? Did the sudden reversion to cold con- 
ditions at the end of the warm interval place populations of 
Neanderthal man under stress, facilitating the invasion of Europe 
by modem man? 

Soon after 40,000 BP, the evidence from Ahakagyezi and 
Muchoya indicates a period colder than now, lasting up to 1 1,000 
BP. However, this long period was not climatically uniform. The 
first phase, up to about 32,000 BP, was cold and dry, temperatures 
being as much as 6°C colder than now; the next phase between about 
32,000 and 21,000 BP was wanner (only about 3°C colder than at 
present), and wetter. The phase from about 21,000 to 14,000 BP 
shows a return to very cold conditions (6°C colder than now) and 
aridity was at a maximum. The climate became somewhat wanner 
and wetter at about 14,000 BP and again at about 12,000 BP. 

The period between about 21,000 and 14,000 BP was a critical 
time for forest survival in tropical Africa. Indeed, modem patterns 
of distribution of many plants and animals in African forests still 
reflect the restrictions in range imposed during this unfavourable 
climatic period. This was the time of the last major world glacia- 
tion (centred on 18,000 BP). Evidence for major temperature 
depression is very apparent in the Muchoya pollen diagram (Figure 
2.3), where there is an abundance of pollen of shrub and herb taxa 
such as Anthospennum, Artemisia and Sloebe (now typical of high 
altitude ericaceous thicket), as well as grass pollen (the latter not 
shown on Figure 2.3). The Ahakagyezi diagram (Figure 2.4) con- 
tains relatively large quantities oi Anthospennum comp., Ericaceae 
(heathers) and grass pollen, as might be expected, and also, more 
surprisingly, Acalypha (a well dispersed pollen type probably orig- 
inating from distant vegetation and over-represented due to low 
local pollen production). 

Environmental conditions in tropical Africa at about 1 8,000 BP 
are quite well known. Figure 2.5 shows sites from which there is 
pollen or plant macrofossil evidence of more arid vegetation than 
is present today. Geomorphological studies suggest that much of 
tropical Africa was caught in the grip of aridity during the Wiirm 
II glaciation. The dune front in north Africa lay about 500 km 
south of its present position, many lakes were very low (including 
Lake Victoria) or even dried up completely, and river flows were 
everywhere reduced. The rivers Senegal, Niger and Nile were 
much less active than they are today. 







15 \^ 




• 3k 


N-i-i^"~\i-v 




/ 




jo7 


_ io.nU.M . 


^_. 


EQUATOR 


\ 9 


"^2^ / 




8 A 


"= 




1 



1 1 U( / 
2000 \^ 


/ 





Figure 2.5 Sites (closed circles) in tropical Africa or 
neighbouring oceans where there is pollen or plant macrofossil 
evidence of more arid vegetation during the last glacial 
maximum (18,000 BP). The open circles indicate some other 
important sites revealing evidence of Quaternary environmental 
history. 

References: (1) Stein a.id Samthein, 1984; (2) Rossignol-Smck and Duzer, 1979; (3) Agwu 
and Beung, 1984; (4) Assemien et al., 1970; (5) Talbot e! al., 1984; (6) Sowunmi, 1981; 
(7) Kadomura, 1982; (8) Giresse and Lanfranchi, 1984; (9) de Ploey, 1968; (10) 
Livingstone, 1967; (11) Taylor, 1988; (12) Hamilton, 1982; (13) Kendall, 1969; (14) 
Coetzee, 1967; (15) Humi, 1981; (16) Van Campo et al., 1982; (17) Uvingstone, 1971. 
(Source: Hamilton, 1988) 



Forest was undoubtedly greatly reduced in extent at 1 8,000 BP, 
but the exact scale of this reduction is unknown for most areas, 
notably in the little-investigated central Zaire forests. The best doc- 
umented country palynologically is Uganda, where there is fossil 
evidence from Mt Elgon (Hamilton, 1987), Lake Victoria 
(Kendall, 1969), Rwenzori (Livingstone, 1968; Hamilton, 1982) 
and Kigezi (Taylor, 1988) to show that very lilde, if any, lowland 
forest remained in the country. This spectacular reduction in for- 
est cover compared to the present, is in fact no greater than is 
known for many other pans of the world during the last glacial 
maximum, for example Europe and North America. 

A more detailed reconstruction of forest extent in tropical Africa 
at 18,000 BP is directly relevant to studies of patterns of evolution 
in forest organisms and for devising strategies for conservation of 
genetic resources. The sites of forest refugia at 18,000 BP are hkely 
to be not only relatively rich in number of species and endemics 
but also centres of genetic diversity for species which occur both 
within these areas and elsewhere (Hamilton, 1981). 

Modern patterns of distribution of forest organisms are 
believed to provide clues to past forest history. Some important 
patterns of distribution of plants and animals in African forests 
are shown in Figure 2.6 which is based on a wide survey of the 
literature. Notable features are centres of biotic diversity (core 
areas) and intervening gradients of declining numbers of species. 
The two principal core areas are in Cameroon/Gabon and eastern 
Zaire, with other, less diverse core areas in West Africa and near 
the East African coast. The core areas are not only rich in numbers 
of species and endemics but also the centres of distribution of 
disjunct species. It is believed that the core areas were the main 
centres of forest survival during the severe arid period around 
18,000 BP. 

There have been criticisms of this refuge theory. Undoubtedly, 
the pattern shown in Figure 2.6 is only a broad generalisation and 
some forest, albeit impoverished, did survive outside the core 
areas. Figure 2.7 shows a more detailed pattern for forest refugia 



21 



History of Forests and Cumate 




Figure 2.6 Distribution of forest, core areas and gradients of 
decreasing biotic diversity in tropical Africa 

The core areas are believed to approximate to sites of forest refugia at the time of the 
last world glacial maximum, at 18,000 BP. 
(Source: Hamilton, 1988) 



Figure 2.7 Forest refugia during arid periods in Central Africa 

A Central refuge. D, C, G Cameroon/Gabon refuge (D: Niger section; C: Cameroon 
section; G: Gabon or Ogoowe basin section). B Southern Zaire basin refuge. E North 
Angola refuge. F Southern scarps of Zaire basin. H Lunda Plateau. 
{Source: Kingdon, 1 Q80) 



in central Africa, largely based on the distribution of mammals. A 
more intricate pattern is indicated, with fragmentation of the 
Cameroon/Gabon refuge and minor refugia in the centre of the 
Zaire basin, sustained by groundwater, and on escarpments and 
hills to its south. 

A more serious argument against using modem patterns of dis- 
tribution of forest organisms to indicate the sites of past refugia is 
that these patterns are a reflection of modem environmental con- 
ditions and tell us little about the past. In support of this argument 
may be cited the correlation between high species numbers and 
high precipitation which seems to be the normal pattern in African 
forests (e.g. in Ghana; see Hall and Swaine, 1981), and the fact 
that the core areas shown in Figure 2.6 are places of relatively mod- 
em high precipitation. 

A number of responses can be made to this criticism. First, it 
can be argued that it is not surprising that places which receive high 
precipitation today were sites of forest survival in the past. There 
is evidence that patterns of atmospheric circulation over Africa at 
18,000 BP were broadly similar to those of today, though with 
stronger and equatorially closer subtropical high pressure cells 
(Rognon and William, 1977); given this, it is reasonable to assume 
that the topographic patterns which contribute so greatly to deter- 
mining modem patterns of precipitation would have ensured that 
places which are relatively wet today are likely to have been so in 
the past. 

Second, it should be noted that the core areas are not only rich 
in total numbers of species and endemics, but that they are also 
the centres of distribution of the isolated populations of many 
species which show disjunct distributions. Some of these species 
are unlikely to be able to disperse from core area to core area with- 
out a continuous forest cover and some explanation is needed as 
to how their ranges became fragmented. Consider, for example, 
the gorilla, which is disjunctly distributed across the Zaire basin 
(Figure 2.8); the forests between the two populations seem suit- 
able for the species. Many other species of plants and animals show 
similar disjunct distributions across the Zaire basin. Surely the 
most likely explanation of this for the gorilla and other obligate for- 
est species is that their ranges have become fragmented due to for- 
est retraction at times of aridity and that, subsequently, the species 
have been slow to expand their range to include all potentially suit- 
able habitat. 



Finally, if modem environmental conditions alone are respon- 
sible for restricting many species to core areas, then, by inference, 
environmental conditions outside the core areas are different and 
it might be expected that there would be a substantial number of 
species restricted to these areas and absent from the core areas 
themselves. However, this is not the case. For example, there is not 
a single species of forest passerine restricted to the central part of 
the Zaire basin (Figure 2.9; Diamond and Hamilton, 1980). 

Coming back from this digression concerning the distribution 
of forest cover in tropical Africa at 18,000 BP, we return to the 
Muchoya and Ahakagyezi pollen diagrams and the evidence for cli- 
matic amelioration at the end of the ice age maximum. The time 
of about 14,000 BP shows warmer and wetter conditions at both 
sites, notably with expansion of Hagenia, a tree characteristic of 
upper montane forest, and a decline in the representation of eri- 
caceous belt plants. Elsewhere in central Africa there are other 
signs of slight climatic improvement at 15,000-14,000 BP, with 
retreats of glaciers from their maxima on Rwenzori and Mt Kenya 
(Livingstone, 1962;Mahaney, 1982). On the broader world stage, 
analysis of deep-sea sediments indicates that the first substantial 
easing of the grip of the last ice age dates to about 14,500 BP 
(Bergert'f a/., 1985). 

The time of about 12,500-12,000 BP shows funher movement 
towards greater warmth and wetness in Kigezi, though tempera- 
tures remained about 3°C lower than now. The pollen diagrams 
from Ahakagyezi and Muchoya show ever higher values of the 
montane tree Hagenia and also much Urticaceae pollen at 
Muchoya (often a sign of very wet climate in African pollen dia- 
grams). On a wider geographical scale, the date of about 12,500 
BP appears to be most significant for forest expansion right across 
tropical Africa. Manne cores off Senegal and the mouth of the 
Zaire River register strong increases in lowland forest pollen after 
12,500 BP (Rossignol-Strick and Duzer, 1979; Giresse and 
Lanfranchi, 1984), while in Uganda at this time forest expanded 
in the west and south (Livingstone, 1967; Kendal!, 1969). 
Simultaneously, the levels of many tropical African lakes increased 
greatly, some overflowing and contributing to exceptionally strong 
river flows. All these changes can be attributed to a great increase 
in the water content of air masses moving on to Africa from the 
ocean; the monsoons seem to have become suddenly very active, 
perhaps due to the attainment of critical threshold sea-surface 



22 



History of Forests and Climate 



temperatures. Positive water balances on the continent would have 
been encouraged by the still depressed temperatures. 

The time around 1 1,000 BP is very significant at Muchoya, 
where a series of radiocarbon studies firmly dates a major change 
in vegetation, with replacement of Hagenia forest by moist lower 
montane forest. A similar drastic alteration in vegetation occurred 
at Ahakagyezi, but is less exactly dated. A rather sudden tempera- 
ture rise of 3°C is postulated as the main cause of these events. 
Evidence from elsewhere in Africa provides further suppon for this 
temperature increase; for example, this was the time of final 
deglaciation of Mt Elgon (Hamilton and Perrott, 1978). Perhaps 
as a result of higher evaporation under increased temperatures, 
there is some evidence for drier conditions in East Africa for some 
centuries after 1 1 ,000 BP. There was a major reduction in the level 
of Lake Kivu between 11, 000 and 10,000 BP (Hecky and Degens, 
1973) and Lake Victoria was reduced in level bnefly at around 
10,000 BP (Kendall, 1969). Lake Victoria sediments contain 
reduced quantities of forest pollen at this time, another indication 
of climatic dryness (Kendall, 1969). 

It is intriguing that the major rise in temperature recorded at 
1 1 ,000 BP in central Africa corresponds to a major decline in tem- 
peratures in north-west Europe. Earlier, after the end of the last 
ice age, temperatures had risen in Britain to values as high as the 
present, but between about 1 1 ,000 and 1 0,000 BP, severe weather 
returned, with formation and advance of a new ice-sheet in 
Scotland and with the limit of winter sea-ice in the North Atlantic 
moving as far south as the latitude of Spain (Lowe and Walker, 
1984). The explanation for this apparent contradiction appears to 
lie in patterns of continental ice melt and melt-water flow in North 
America, probably responding to a major overall increase in global 
temperatures at about 1 1,000 BP. Ice retreat in North America 
resulted in a diversion of melt-water from the southward-flowing 
Mississippi eastwards into the Gulf of St Lawrence (Street-Perrott 

Figure 2.8 The distribution of gorillas in Africa 

{Source: Harcoun et al., 1989) 




World distribution 
Limits of Gorilla 




Figure 2.9 Avifaunal divisions of African forests, based on the 

distribution of passerine birds (Source: Diamond and Hamilton, 1980) 

and Perrott, 1990). The resulting massive injection of cold fresh- 
water into the North Atlantic led to major reductions in surface 
sea-temperature, with consequent adverse climatic conditions for 
north-west Europe. 

Moist lower montane forest was present on the hillslopes around 
Muchoya and Ahakagyezi Swamps from 1 1,000 BP until it was 
cleared by humans during comparatively recent years. The pres- 
ence of this forest type is indicated by the relative abundance of 
such pollen types as Alchomea, Cyathea comp., Ilex and Macaranga 
capensis. Elsewhere in Africa, the forest expansion which began at 
12,500 BP continued, with, as already mentioned, a brief retreat 
in some areas at around 1 1,000-10,000 BP. Forest pollen reaches 
its maximum values in Lake Victoria sediments after 9500 BP 
(Kendall, 1969). Montane forest was extensive on Mt Elgon by 
1 1,000 BP, contrasting with the largely treeless state of the moun- 
tain before 14,000 BP (Hamilton, 1987). Lowland forest was 
established around Lake Bosumtwi in Ghana, by 9000 BP, 
replacing earlier montane grassland containing small patches of 
montane-type forest (Maley and Livingstone, 1983). 

It appears that the maximum postglacial spread of forest in trop- 
ical Africa was attained during the millennia after 10,000 BP. 
Subsequently, there has been some retreat; a number of sites in 
tropical Africa experienced a generally drier climate after about 
4000 BP. Pollen diagrams from marine sediments off Senegal and 
Zaire show replacement of more mesic by less mesic vegetation in 
neighbouring continental areas during the last few thousand years 
(Rossignol-Strick and Duzer, 1979; Giresse and Lanfranchi, 
1984). At both Muchoya and Ahakagyezi, swamp forest replaced 
wetter vegetation types on the swamp surfaces at about this time 
and moisture-loving forest trees declined in relative abundance on 
surrounding hillslopes. It can be seen from Figure 2.3 that 
Podocarpus pollen increased dramatically in abundance at about 
4000-3000 BP at Muchoya. The same phenomenon of increased 
Podocarpus after about 4000 BP is known from a number of other 
scattered sites in Africa, including Ethiopia, Mt Kenya, Rwenzori 
and Mt Elgon (Hamilton, 1982). An analysis of pollen diagrams 
from Mt Elgon shows that many other forest taxa either increased 
or decreased markedly in abundance on that mountain at the same 
time (the Podocarpus rises are especially noticeable because of the 
over-representation of this abundantly produced pollen type); fur- 
thermore these analyses support the conclusion that the Podocarpus 
increase was a response to drier climate (Hamilton, 1987). 

There is abundant geomorphological evidence of a shift to a gen- 
erally drier climate in tropical Africa after about 4000 BP. Lower 
lake levels are widely reponed (e.g. Butzer ei al., 1972; Hecky and 
Degens, 1973; Pontes ei al., 1985; Ritchie et al., 1985), Nile 
levels were reduced (Adamson et al., 1980) and there was an 
expansion of the Sahara (Geyh and Jakel, 1974). As with many 



23 



History of Forests and Cumate 



other climatic events in Africa, there seem to be associated chmatic 
changes in Europe. For example, a notable feature in Ireland after 
4000 BP is major expansion of blanket bog; the temporal correla- 
tion with significant climatic events further south suggests that 
climatic change was a major cause. 

Some changes in the uppermost part of the Muchoya pollen dia- 
gram are attributable to forest clearance by man. These include 
rises in abundance of pollen from shrubs and herbs such as 
Dodonaea, Plantago, Ptendium comp., Riime.x and Venwnia conip. 
pollen. This clearance began at about 2200 BP and was most likely 
due to the activities of iron-working agriculturalists, who are 
known from archaeological evidence to have been in the region at 
that time. The Ahakagyezi pollen diagram shown on Figure 2.4 
does not include samples from the upper 7 m of sediment, but 
another pollen diagram is available from the same site covering this 
depth range (Hamilton el ah, 1986). These uppermost samples at 



Ahakagyezi show signs of very early forest clearance, dating back 
to before 5000 BP, but this is disputed by Taylor (1988), who pro- 
duces good evidence that forest clearance started much later, at 
about the same time as at Muchoya (around 2200 BP). 

To summarise, it seems likely that agriculture in the forest zone 
of Africa dates back to, at most, only about 4000 BP and that major 
forest clearance in East Africa, the part of the continent where the 
story is best known, occurred during about the last 2000 years only. 
In the light of this, it may seem surprising that the influence of 
humans on African forest seems to be so widespread, but the 
situation can be compared to north-western Europe, where 
agriculture is only slightly older and where all remaining forests 
are man-modified, often to a very great extent. An unknown 
factor is the degree of penetration of pre-agricultural man into 
the forests and the extent of his influence on its structure and 
composition. 



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Authorship 

Alan C. Hamilton, WWF-UK. 



25 



3 Biological Diversity 



Introduction 

The tropical moist forests of Africa, like those in Asia and Latin 
America, are the richest ecosystems in the region. They are esti- 
mated to house more than half of Africa's biota. The fauna of the 
region is by far the richest of the African continent, with the major 
block, the Guineo-Congolean region, holding some 84 per cent of 
African primate species (see chapter 4), 68 per cent of passerine 
birds (Crowe and Crowe, 1982) and 66 per cent of butterfly species 
(Carcasson, 1964). The forests are estimated to contain over 8000 
plant species, a floristic diversity rivalled in Africa only by the 
Mediterranean-climate Cape floristic region, which may itself be 
botanically the richest region on eanh (White, 1983). This rich- 
ness is largely made up of species confined to tropical moist for- 
est, and indeed to species endemic to these regions, although a 
notable part of the fauna consists of species that are also widespread 
outside the forests. The mammals include the elephant Loxodonta 
africana, buffalo Syncerus caffer and leopard Panthera pardus. 

Although the forests are rich in species compared with other 
regions and biotopes in Africa, they are regarded as biotically rather 
impoverished compared with equivalent areas in Asia and Latm 
America. The precise reasons for this are subject to debate. The 
past history of the forests has undoubtedly played a major part, in 
panicular the effects of the interaction of climatic change and 
topography on the extent and distribution of the forests through 
time (Hamilton, 1981 and see chapter 2). In addition, present envi- 
ronmental conditions, particularly rainfall, have influenced the 
often complex patterns of distribution of different taxonomic 
groups within the forests. 

It is generally argued that one of the most significant factors 
affecting the present day distribution of the fauna and flora of these 
forests was a major arid phase during the Quaternary, which fin- 
ished some 12,000 years ago. During this period, moist forests 
were confined to a number of relatively small refugia isolated from 
each other by areas where the climate was too dry for such forest 
to survive (see Figures 2.6 and 2.7). Contraction of rain forest to 
small areas would probably have led to the extinction of a signifi- 
cant number of taxa, providing a possible explanation of the lower 
diversity of these forests compared with those in Latin America and 
Asia where, it is argued, such contraction was not nearly so severe. 

There is strong evidence that moist forests were highly frag- 
mented and covered a far smaller area then than they do now or 
did in the recent past, and evidence from East Africa suggests that 
forest cover in total has declined over the past 4 million years. What 
is less demonstrable, through lack of fossil evidence, is that this has 
led to appreciable extinction of taxa. It is interesting to note that, 
in plants at least, the endemic genera of the Afrotropical moist 
forests generally contain few species, in marked contrast to 
endemic genera in other tropical moist forest regions, which often 



have a large number of species. It is tempting to speculate that con- 
ditions in African forests have historically militated against exten- 
sive speciation within genera, rather than that conditions have led 
to large-scale extinctions. 

The precise locations and extent of the so-called Pleistocene 
forest refugia are also the subject of discussion. They have tended to 
be identified on the basis of the present distributions of animal and 
plant species but are also cited as explanations of these distributions. 
There is thus a distinct danger of circularity in the argument. 
Nevertheless, it is worth stressing that the fossil evidence for changes 
in the tropical forest distribution in Africa is considerably better than 
in the case of South Amenca and Asia (Hamilton, in lilt.). 

Whatever their history, the present day tropical moist forests of 
the Afrotropical region can be divided into three major blocks: the 
Central and West African area, the East African coastal region and 
Madagascar. Each of these has its own distinctive floral and fau- 
nal characteristics, particularly Madagascar, which is believed to 
have been separated from the African mainland for around 160 
million years (Rabinowitz et al., 1983) and which possesses a 
unique flora and fauna with very high levels of endemism. 

The Central and West African Rain Forests 

The Central and West African forests extend discontinuously from 
Senegal in West Africa to extreme western Kenya and northern 
Angola. The forests in this vast area have a large proponion of their 
animal and plant species in common and the lowland forests are 
botanically classified as one region, the Guineo-Congolean 
regional centre of endemism (White, 1983 and see Figure 3.1). 
Overall this area is estimated to hold around 8000 plant species, 
some 80 per cent of which are endemic. Endemism at the generic 
level is also high at around 45 per cent. 

These forests are, however, far from homogeneous and have 
many localised species occurring in them; species in different tax- 
onomic groups often share similar patterns of distribution and on 
the basis of this the area can be divided into several sub-units which 
have more or less distinctive floral and faunal characteristics. The 
principal divisions are between the West and Central African 
forests, and also between lowland and montane forest. 

The West African Rain Forests 

The West African or Upper Guinean rain forests extend along the 
coastal region of West Africa, from Senegal in the west to Togo in 
the east. They are separated from the Central African rain forests 
by the Dahomey Gap in Benin, where savanna extends to the coast. 
They are of much lesser extent than the Central African forests and 
support fewer species, with, for example, around 750 butterfly 
species compared with more than 1100 in Central Afnca 



26 



Biological Diversity 




Figure 3.1 Main phytochoria of Africa and Madagascar 



I. Guineo-Congolian regional centre of endemism. II. Zambezian regional 
centre of endemism. III. Sudanian regional centre of endemism. IV. Somalia- 
Masai regional centre of endemism. V. Cape regional centre of endemism. VI. 
Karoo-Namib regional centre of endemism. VII. Mediterranean regional centre 
of endemism. VIII. Afromontane archipelago-like regional centre of endemism, 
including IX. Afroalpine archipelago-like region of extreme florisuc impoverish- 
ment (not shown separately). X. Guinea-Congolia/Zambezi regional transition 
zone. XI. Guinea-Congolia/Sudania regional transition zone. XII. Lake Victoria 
regional mosaic. XIII. Zanzibar-lnhambane regional mosaic. XTV. Kalahari- 
Highveld regional transition zone. XV. Tongaland-Pondoland regional mosaic. 
XVI. Sahel regional transition zone. XVII. Sahara regional transition zone. 
XVIII. Mediterranean/Sahara regional transition zone. XIX. East Malagasy 
regional centre of endemism. XX. West Malagasy regional centre of endemism 
(Source.- White, 1983) 

(Carcasson, 1 964), around 200 passerine birds compared widi up 
to 400 (Crowe and Crowe, 1982), and some 14 primate species 
compared with nearly 40. This may be pardy because of the reladve 
lack of land at high aldtudes in West Africa. Although there are 
mountainous forested areas here, they are relatively small and low 
(maximum altitude of 1752 m on Mt Nimba) and their fauna and 
flora bear close resemblance to those in the surroundmg lowlands, 
with relatively few endemics. In contrast there are major upland areas 
in the Central African forest block with their own disdncuve faunas 
and floras, including many endemics. These make a significant 
contribution to the biological diversity of the region as a whole. 

It is also argued that Pleistocene forest refugia in West Africa 
were considerably smaller than those in Central Afnca; this would 
almost cenainly have led to the loss of a considerable number of 
taxa during periods of forest contraction. Colonisation by the same 
or related taxa from the large Central African refugia would have 
been hampered by the distance between the two areas and the var- 
ious physical barriers to dispersal discussed below. Nevertheless 
these forests are still diverse, with many notable endemic species. 



Floristically there is one endemic family in West Africa, the 
Dioncophyllaceae, a small family of unusual lianas comprising 
three monotypic genera. There is a significant number of endemic 
species, with, for example, an estimated 700 of the 1300 species 
recorded in the Tai Forest in Cote d'lvoire being endemic to the 
Guinean rain forests. Of these around 200 were believed confined 
to the region west of the Sassandra River (Guillaumet, 1967). The 
majority of Guinean endemic species belong to genera also found 
in the Central African rain forests. Notable exceptions include 
Pitcaimia feliciana, endemic to Guinea and the only member of the 
pineapple family Bromeliaceae occurring outside the Americas, 
and Dmklageodoxa, the only climber in the family Bignoniaceae 
indigenous to Africa (Brenan, 1978). 

Endemic mammal species include two carnivores, Johnston's 
genet Genetta johnstoni and the rare Liberian mongoose Libenictis 
kuhnii, in a monotypic genus, and four antelopes: the pygmy ante- 
lope Neotragus pyginaeus and three species of duiker, Cephalophus 
zebra, C. niger and the highly threatened Jentink's duiker 
C. jeminki. The latter is the largest of this widespread genus of 
forest antelopes. Noteworthy endemic rodents are the primitive 
gliding Pel's anomalure Anomalurns pelt, the slender-tailed giant 
squirrel ProtoxeniS aiibuui and the splendid squirrel Epixents ebn. 
An important relict species confined to the Nimba massif on the 
borders of Guinea, Liberia and Cote d'lvoire is the Mount Nimba 
lesser otter shrew Micropoiamogale lamonet, a primitive insectivore 
whose closest relative, the congeneric Micropotamogale ruivenzorii, 
is found in the Rwenzori mountains 4500 km to the east. Several 
species of primate are also confined to these forests, with the precise 
number depending on the classification adopted — primate taxon- 
omy is notoriously unstable and there is little general agreement on 
the taxonomic status of many primate populations, particularly in the 
genera Cercocebiis, Cercopithecus and Procolobus. Generally ac-cepted 
species endemic to the Guinean forests are the diana monkey 
Cercopithecus diana, the spot-nosed guenon C. petaurista, and the 
western red colobus Procolobus badius badius, with the sooty mangabey 
Cercocebus torquatus atys and Geoffrey's black-and-white colobus 
Colobus polykomos vellerosus sometimes also considered distinct species. 

Twenty-eight bird species are endemic to the Guinean forests. 
Notable among these are the rufous fishing owl Scolopelia ussheri, the 
white-Dreasted guineafowl Agelastes meleagrides, the western warded 
cuckoo-shrike Campephaga hbata, the yellow-throated olive green- 
bul Cmuger olivaceus, the spot-winged greenbul Phyllastrephus leu- 
colepis, the white-necked picathartes Picarhartes gynmocephalm, the 
Nimba flycatcher Melaenoniis annamandae and the Gola malimbe 
Malimbus ballmanm. Most of these species have closely related equiv- 
alents, with which they form so-called superspecies, in the Central 
African forests, emphasising the similarities between the two areas. 

The amphibian fauna of West Africa is also distinctive and 
clearly illustrates the different fauna! blocks. Schiotz (1967) has 
analysed the treefrog fauna (family Hyperoliidae) in detail. Sixteen 
species considered true tropical rain forest forms occur in the 
Guinean forests. Of these only four have also been recorded east 
of the Dahomey Gap. The fauna of the Guinean block is itself not 
uniform, as there is a notable division between the eastern and 
western pans of the forest. This division is marked by the so-called 
Baoule-V centred on the Bamanda River in central Cote d'lvoire. 
This is an area where the savanna lying north of the rain forest 
makes a marked V-shaped southward incursion into the forest. It 
is argued that this probably represented a complete break in the 
forest in the relatively recent past, allowing forest forms on either 
side to evolve in isolation from each other. Four species are con- 
fined to the western 'Liberian' forest block, and three are known 
onlv from the eastern 'Ghanaian' block. 



27 



Biological Diversity 

The Hyperoliidae show this distinctive pattern with a notable 
number of locahsed species, because they are a rapidly evolving 
group. This is particularly true for the genus Hyperolius, which 
comprises half of the Guinean forest species and is regarded as the 
most progressive genus in the family. West African amphibians 
belonging to other families are generally considered to be more 
conservative and show a rather different pattern, with species com- 
mon to the Guinean and Congolean forest blocks outnumbering 
those confined to the area west of the Dahomey Gap. Nevertheless, 
the Guinean forests have several endemic forms, notably five 
species in the genus Phrynobatrachus . 

The faunal divide of the Baoule-V is also manifest in the pri- 
mates, another apparently rapidly evolving group, although here 
the populations on either side of the V are only differentiated at 
subspecific level. 

The effectiveness of these faunal divides varies from group to 
group. Carcasson (1964) notes that the butterfly fauna of West 
Africa is essentially the same as, though poorer than, the fauna of 
the Congolean forest, with very few endemic forms. In addition, 
several West African forms, such as the olive colobus Procolobus 
vents, extend into Nigerian forests east of the Dahomey Gap, some 
extending as far as the Cross River in eastern Nigeria, which also 
serves as the western limit for several Congolean forest animals. It 
is argued that for many mammals, which are poor swimmers, rivers 
such as the Cross may serve as more effective barriers to dispersal 
than woodland or savanna areas such as the Dahomey Gap, while 
the reverse will be true for other groups such as amphibians. 

The area between the Cross River and the Dahomey Gap thus 
serves as something of a transition zone between the Guinean and 
Congolean forest blocks, although it is predominantly Congolean 
in character. At least 38 plant species, including one monotypic 
genus, Psammetes, and two animal species, one bird - the Ibadan 
malimbe Malimbus ibadanensis - and one mammal - the white- 
throated guenon Cercopithecus erythrogaster - are apparently 
endemic to this region; both the animals are regarded as endan- 
gered (Collar and Stuart, 1985; Lee ei al., 1988). 

The Central African Rain Forests 

The Central Afncan, or Congolean, rain forests are far more exten- 
sive than those of West Africa, and house in total a considerably 
greater number of species. These forests may be divided on the 
basis of their fauna and flora into several distinct regions. There 
are three distinct highland areas consisting of the Cameroon 
highlands in Cameroon and eastern Nigeria, the Albertine 
Rift highlands in eastern Zaire, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, 
and the little-known forests of the Angolan escarpment. The 
lowland forests can also be divided into three major areas com- 
prising: the western coastal region; the lowland forests of eastern 
Zaire east of the Zaire River; and the so-called Cuvette Centrale, 
here taken to mean the area lying within the great curve of the Zaire 
River. 

The Highland Congolean Forests 

Montane forest regions in general have a lower overall diversity 
than equivalent lowland areas, but often have a higher number of 
endemic species. The number of endemics appears to be related 
to the age of the montane region, its size, climatic history and 
degree of isolation from other such areas. 

The Cameroon Highlands This is an extensive region of volcanic 
uplands in western Cameroon and eastern Nigeria, formed over 
the past 1 00 million years. The offshore island of Bioko (Fernando 
Poo) forms part of the same montane region. 





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H 


V~--^ M 


Density of shoding opproximolely proportjonol ' 
10 number o( endemic species j 


® 


p^ 


% 


T~" "^^^s.. Tonzonion 
3) HighlonA 


j*k Number ol endemic species L, 
^■r wilhin nationol boundaries \^ 


V -. 


h 


K 


4 


/'^^ Noturol physiogrophic regions 
\ j notobly rich in endemic species 


•v 


QO 


y 


w 


1 1 Number of endemic species H,^ 

|^Q| per region identified ' i 

Cape Fold 
All figures oppfoximnie Mountoins 


> 


^^=^ 







Figure 3.2 Number of endemic amphibian species in Africa 

^Source: Data from Frosl, 1985, figure by WCMC Biodiversity- Project) 

Floristically this area is of considerable imponance. Some 130 
species are believed endemic to eastern Nigeria and over 150 to 
north-western Cameroon (Brenan, 1978). A large percentage of 
these are montane forest species, with, for example, 45 species 
believed endemic to Mt Cameroon alone. Bioko has around 50 
endemic species, including four members of the genus Lepionychia 
(family Sterculiaceae - the cocoa and cola-nut family). The area is 
also particularly important for endemic birds and amphibians. Of 
the 53 montane bird species found in the region, 20 are endemic. 
Of these, eight are independent species with no close relatives in 
their genera (Jensen and Stuan, 1986). Three of these, the Mount 
Kupe bush-shrike Malaconoms kupeensis, the white-throated 
mountain babbler Lioptilus gilbeni and Bannerman's weaver Ploceus 
baniieniiani, are considered threatened. Of the remaining twelve 
endemic species, six are very closely related to (that is, form super- 
species with) forms largely confined to other montane regions in 
Africa while the remainder are highland representatives of essen- 
tially lowland forms. 

Around 60 species of amphibian are endemic to the Cameroon 
Highlands, this being the richest assemblage of locally endemic 
species in continental Africa (Figure 3.2). Although some of these 
are grassland species, the majority are found in montane or sub- 
montane forest. Three genera are confined to the region, all in the 
family Bufonidae. These are the highly distinctive monotypic 
Didyfiainipus, whose sole species, D. sjostedti is found in extreme 
south-west Cameroon and Bioko; Wemeria with four species, and 
Wollerstorffina with two species, all confined to Cameroon. These 
genera are thought likely to be derived from ancient stock of South 
American origin before the two continents divided. The remain- 
ing forms are generally related to lowland forms in the adjacent 
Congolean forest block rather than to species in montane regions 
further east. In contrast, the mammal and reptile fauna of the 
region is relatively impovenshed, with fewer species than in the 
adjacent lowland forests and a relatively low number of endemics. 



28 



Biological Diversity 



Among the latter are Preuss's guenon Cercopiihecus preussi, two 
rodents {Praomvs hanwigi and Paraxents coopen), three chameleon 
species, all in the genus Chamaeko, and five skinks in the genus 
Panaspis. The last named has been relatively little studied and 
it is thought likely that more species remain to be discovered 
(Ganshore, 1986). 

TheAlbenine Rift Highlands The montane and sub-montane forests 
of the Albertine Rift in eastern Zaire, Rwanda, Burundi and western 
Uganda are also relatively nch in endemic species. For plants, this 
is the richest montane area for forest species in Africa (Hamilton, 
in litt.). The area around Lakes Edward and Kivu in Zaire has at 
least 62 endemic plants, with a further 26 species apparently 
endemic to Rwanda and Burundi. 

As with the Cameroon Highlands, the area has a significant 
number of endemic birds and amphibians. Some 36 bird species 
are confined to the region, as are at least 34 amphibians, notably 
in the genera Hyperolius (eight species), Phtynobatrachus (seven 
species) and Schouledenella (six species). Again the area is less 
important for endemic mammals, with notable exceptions being 
the Rwenzori otter-shrew Micropotamogale ruwenzorii, L'Hoest's 
monkey Cercopiihecus Ihoesli and the rodents Dendromus kahuzien- 
sis, Fimisciunts camahersi and Heliosciurus ruwenzoni. Several other 
species largely confined to this region also range into the eastern 
Zairean lowland forests. Examples include Thomas's bushbaby 
Galagoides ihomasi and the owl-faced guenon Cercopiihecus ham- 
lyni. There is little information on reptiles or invertebrates, 
although at least three chameleon species and the vulnerable 
cream-banded swallowtail Papilio leucotaenia are confined to the 
region (Collins and Morris, 1985). 

Fruiting bodies of the rain forest fungus Dictyophora phalloidea/o»«rf 
in the Korup National Park, Cameroon. M. Rauktari 




The Angolan Escarpment Forests The forests of the Angolan scarp 
in north-western Angola are far less extensive than those of the 
Cameroon highlands or Albertine Rift; they are also generally lower 
in altitude and show less typically montane character. They are 
poorly known biologically but the indications are that they support 
a significant number of endemic species, with at least seven birds 
confined to the region. These include the Gabela helmet-shrike 
Prionops gabela, Monteiro's bush-shrike Malaconotus monteiri, the 
Gabela akalat Sheppardia gabela and Pulitzer's longbill Macro- 
sphenus pulitzen. A number of amphibians are apparendy confined 
to Angola, with several of these recorded from the scarp forests. 
However, most of these records are from early collections and it is 
thought hkely that a proportion are synonyms of more widespread 
species. These forests are considered a high pnority for further 
research (Collar and Stuart, 1988). 

The Loiuland Congolean Forests 

The lowland forests of the Congo Forest Block are the most exten- 
sive and undoubtedly the most species-rich in Africa. Two areas 
stand out as being particularly diverse. These are the forests of the 
western lowlands, bounded in the west by the Atlantic Ocean and 
in the east by the Zaire River and its affluent the Sangha, and the 
forests of eastern Zaire between the Zaire River and the Albertine 
Rift highlands. Compared with these, the forests of the Cuvette 
Centrale, lying within the sweep of the Zaire River, are apparently 
somewhat less species-rich. 

The Western Equatorial Forests These forests may be the richest in 
Africa. In Cameroon (chapter 13) a study by Gentry reported over 
200 woody plant species in 0.1 ha, a diversity matched only in 
exceptionally rich sites in South America. The area contains many 
species widespread in the Afncan lowland tropical moist forests, 
but also has a significant number of endemics. Among plants, 
Brenan (1978) cites an estimated 26 genera and over 600 species 
endemic to Cameroon and Bioko, with a further 28 genera and 
over 1 000 species endemic to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea; many 
of these are tree species. Of particular note are 28 species of 
Beilschmiedia apparently endemic to lowland Cameroon. 

Pnmates endemic to this region include the angwantibo 
Araocebus calabarensis, Allen's bushbaby Galagoides alleni, the red- 
capped mangabey Cercocebus torquatus, three Cercopithecus species 
(the sun-tailed guenon C. solatus, moustached guenon C. cephus 
and red-eared guenon C. erythrotis), the black colobus Colobus 
satanas, the mandrill Mandrillus sphinx and drill M. leucophaeus. 
Other notable endemic mammals include the primitive rodent 
Zenkerella msignis, the pygmy squirtel Myosciiirus pumilio and the 
bat Kenvoula muscilla. The area is a centre of diversity for amphib- 
ians although less important than the adjacent highlands. Several 
genera have speciated in both upland and lowland areas, includ- 
ing Cardioglossa, Astylostemus, Hyperolius and Phrynobatrachus. Of 
particular interest is the genus Conraua, with the lowland Conraua 
goliath, the world's largest anuran (frogs and toads), replaced in 
the uplands by C. robusta. 

The bunerfly fauna in this region is the most diverse in Africa, 
with over 1 100 species recorded. The great majority of these are 
widespread forms, also being found in either the Upper Guinean 
forests or the Zairean forests further east, or both (Carcasson, 
1964). The spectacular African giant swallowtail, Papilio anti- 
machus, the largest bunerfly on the continent, is an example of a 
widespread but rarely seen species (Collins and Morris, 1985). 
Graphium aunvilhusi is a swordtail butterfly known only from the 
type series - a common occurtence among the relatively litde- 
studied invertebrates. 



29 



Biological Diversity 

The Eastern Zairean Lozvlaiid Rain Forests These forests rival those 
of the western lowlands in diversity. However, detailed floristic 
analysis is difficult, because studies do not generally differentiate 
between these forests and those of the Cuvette Centrale. 
Nevertheless, Zaire as a whole is believed to have the largest flora of 
any continental African country, with a high level of endemism. The 
two most important areas for endemics are the area identified in 
Brenan (1978) as the 'forestier central' which includes these lowland 
rain forests as well as part of the Cuvette Centrale, and the Haut 
Katanga, which is in the Zambezian domain and is not rain forest. 
The area is better known for its fauna. As well as housing most 
of the widespread Guineo-Congolean species, the forests also pos- 
sess a large number of more localised forms, sharing many species 
with the adjacent Albertine Rift highlands (Ccrcopnheais hamtym, 
Galagoides thomasi, and the giant genet Genetla vicloriae), others 
with the Cuvette Centrale (most notably the Congo peacock 
Afropavo congensis) and yet others with the western lowland forests 
(the grey-cheeked mangabey Cercoeebus atbigena, and the royal 
antelope Neotragus batesi). These forests also have a number of 
endemic species, of which the most notable is the okapi Okapia 
johnstoni (see case study in chapter 32). Other endemics include 
the aquatic genet Osbomiclis piscivora and two weaverbirds, Ploceus 
aiireonucha and P. flavipes, both apparently confined to the Ituri 
forest. This forest has populations of 1 3 diurnal primate species, 
the richest known assemblage in mainland Africa. 

The Cuvette Centrale This region, constituting the low-lying area 
of the Zaire Basin within the curve of the river, is generally regarded 
as impoverished compared with forests on the rim of the basin. 
Several species are found in both western and eastern forests, but 
seem to be absent from this central area. These include the gorilla 
Gonlla gonlla, the chimpanzee Pan troglodytes (also found in the 
Guinean forests) and the western needle-clawed galago Galago 
elegantiiliis, as well as the royal antelope and grey-cheeked 
mangabey. Two of these species - the chimpanzee and grey- 
cheeked mangabey - are, however, replaced in the Cuvette by 
closely related species, the pygmy chimpanzee or bonobo Pan 
painseits and black mangabey Cercoeebus aterriinus, respectively. 
Several authorities consider these to be only separable from their 
sibling taxa at subspecific level. 

It is argued that the principal reason for this impoverishment is 
that the present-day forests of the Cuvette Centrale are mostly very 
recent in origin, the area having experienced a dry phase until per- 
haps only 12,000 years ago. Thus their fauna will consist largely 
of species which have since immigrated from surrounding forest 
regions. The Zaire River, which separates the Cuvette Centrale 
both from the western forests and the eastern Zairean forests, will 
have acted as an effective barrier to dispersal for many species. 
Minor forest refugia may have existed in the Cuvette Centrale dur- 
ing the dry phase, probably sustained by groundwater. In general 
the number of species endemic to the Cuvette Centrale appears 
low; for example, there are fewer than ten amphibians. This may 
corroborate the view that the forests are recent in origin, although 
it may also be at least in part a reflection of the fact that they are 
still relatively little known zoologically. 

The East African Coastal Rain Forests 

The moist forests of eastern Africa are of far lesser extent than those 
of the Guineo-Congolean region. They occur principally in two 
areas; lowland coastal regions, mainly in the southern half of Kenya 
and in Tanzania, and upland areas, chiefly the Usambara and 
Uluguru mountains of Tanzania. Their fauna and flora differ 



greatly from those of the Guineo-Congolean block. They are cer- 
tainly of lower overall diversity than the latter, but have a signifi- 
cant number of endemic species, particularly of birds, amphibians 
and invertebrates. The flora of this region shows affinities with the 
moist forests further west at generic rather than specific level and 
has a very large number of endemic species. Moreover, many of 
the widespread genera of the Congolean forest block are absent. 
This indicates that the two forest blocks have been isolated for a 
long period of time - probably at least 500,000 years. Brenan 
(1978) has suggested that the eastern forests may represent the 
fragmented relics of a primitive and formerly more widespread 
forest flora not clearly recognisable elsewhere in Africa today. 

The East Coast Lowland Forests 

The lowland coastal vegetation of Kenya and Tanzania (including 
Zanzibar) has around 100 endemic plant species and five endemic 
genera: Ang\'loealyx, Asteranthe, Lettowianthus, Alkilua and 
Ophtypetalum (Brenan, 1978). Two of the most important forests 
in this region are Sokoke Forest and the Shimba Hills in Kenya. 
Two bird species, the Sokoke scops owl Otus ireneae and Clarke's 
weaver Ploceus golandt, are wholly endemic to Sokoke, with two 
mammals, the golden-rumped elephant-shrew Rhynchocyon 
chtysopygus (sometimes considered a distinctive subspecies of R. 
einiei) and Aders's duiker Cephalophus adersi, being nearly so. 
Several other localised East African forest bird species have impor- 
tant populations in Sokoke. The only two amphibians believed 
endemic to Kenya, Afrixalus syhaticus and Hyperolius rubrovennic- 
ulatus, are confined to the Shimba Hills, which also house several 
restricted range species such as the black-and-rufous elephant- 
shrew Rhynchocyon petersi, east coast akalat Sheppardia gunningi 
and plain-backed and Uluguru violet-backed sunbirds Amhreptes 
reichenou'i and A. neglectus. 

The East African Upland Forests 

The upland forests of East Africa are in the main situated on scat- 
tered ancient cr>'stalline massifs. Of these, the Usambara moun- 
tains are of quite exceptional importance for endemic plants. 
Polhill (1968) lists 112 tree and shrub species endemic to the 
mountains (although around 20 of these were considered 'imper- 
fectly known species') with another 30 or so nearly endemic, 
although Hamilton {in litt.) notes that there are relatively few strict 
endemics as most species range beyond the Usambaras proper. 
Polhill's totals for endemics and near endemics include 50 tree 
species over 10 m tall, of which three are in monotypic genera: 
Cephalosphaera usanibarensis, Englerodendron usambarense and 
Platypterocaipus tanganyikensis. In addition, nine African violets 
Saintpauha spp. are endemic to the mountains. 

Two bird species are endemic to the Usambaras, the Usambara 
eagle owl Bubo vosseleri and the Usambara ground robin 
Diyocichloides inontanus, with several other near endemic species 
found. Two mammal species are believed endemic: Swynnerton's 
squirrel Paraxenis vexillarius and a white-toothed shrew Crocidura 
lanzamana. Around 14 endemic lizards occur along with six 
amphibians, with an additional 1 3 of the latter found more widely 
in the East African highlands. Levels of endemism in those inver- 
tebrate groups which have been studied are similarly high, with, 
for example, 27 recorded endemic wasps in the family Sphecidae 
and 26 carnivorous snails in the family Streptaxidae, including 18 
species in the genus Gtilella (Wells e! at, 1983). 

Second in importance are the Uluguru Mountains south of the 
Usambaras. These mountains have around 80 endemic trees and 
shrubs (although 24 of these are listed by Polhill (1968) as imper- 
fectly known) and nine near endemics. Three species in mono- 



30 



Biological Diversity 



t>'pic genera are apparently endemic: Dionychastnim schliebenii, 
Pseudoncsohedvotis bremekampii and Rhipidantha chorantha. Tlie area 
also has three endemic African violets. There are two endemic bird 
species, the Uluguru bush shrike Malaconolus alius and Loveridge's 
sunbird Nectanma loveridgei along with two mammals, the Uluguru 
golden mole Chlorotalpa tropicalu and the shrew Crociditra idfordi. 
Five reptiles are endemic to the range, as are seven amphibians, with 
an additional 14 or so amphibians restricted to the Eastern 
Highlands but not confined to the Ulugurus. Levels of endemicity 
among invertebrates are similarly high with, for example, 40 known 
endemic carabid beetles and 41 out of the 43 members of the 
family Pselaphidae in the mountains being apparently endemic. 

Smaller patches of highland forest occur in isolated outcrops 
from Mt Mulanje in Malawi to Mt Kulal in northern Kenya. 
Endemics, often in danger of extinction, occur m every case. The 
Taita Hills in southern Kenya, for example, are home to at least 
three plants, one butterfly, an amphibian, a reptile and three bird 
species known nowhere else (Collins and Clifton, 1984). They are 
now confined to less than 5 sq. km of relict forest. 



Madagascar 

Madagascar has been separated from the African mainland for about 
1 60 million years and has evolved its own highly distinctive flora and 
fauna. The island as a whole has one of the nchest floras in the worid 
(Jenkins, 1987). Phytogeographically, the island is di\ided into two 
regional centres of endemism, the western and the eastern. Tropical 
moist forest is virtually confined to the eastern centre, which has a 
westward extension in the northern pan of the island known as the 
Sambirano. The flora of the whole island is thought to number 
10,000-12,000 species of which between 55 and 80 per cent have 
variously been esdmated to be endemic. Of the total, an estimated 
6000 species in 500-1000 genera are found in the moist forests of the 
eastern domain. Around 90 per cent of the species and a third of the 
genera are believed endemic to this region. The flora has much 
stronger afflnides with the Sudano-Zambezian element of the African 
mainland flora than with Guineo-Congolian forest flora. 

The island's fauna is very disunctive, with, as might be expec- 
ted, the eastern and western domains showing strong affinities with 
each other. Diversity in mammals and birds is relatively low com- 
pared with continental Africa, while in reptiles and amphibians it 
is at least comparable. Endemism in most groups is very high for 
Madagascar as a whole. Notable are the primates with 30 species 
in five families, all of which are in the suborder Lemuroidea, other- 
wise found only on the Comoros where two species of the genus 
Lemur are present, probably having been introduced there from 
Madagascar by man. Fifteen lemur species are confined to the 
moist forests of the eastern domain, with a further four shared with 
the drier deciduous forests of the west. Notable species endemic 
to the eastern region include four monotypic genera: the indri Indn 
iiidn, hairy-eared dwarf lemur AHocebus tnchotis, ruffed lemur 
I'arecm vanegala and aye-aye Daubenloma niadagascariensis, this 
last in a monotypic family, the Daubentoniidae (Jenkins, 1987; 
Harcourt and Thomback, 1990). Four of the eight native carni- 
vores are apparently endemic to the eastern forests, each in a 
monotypic genus: Fossa fossana, Eupleres goudolii, Galidictis striata 
and Salaiioia concolor. Other noteworthy species include around 1 5 
species of tenrec, most in the genera Microgale, and the sucker- 
footed bat Myzopoda aunta in a monotypic family. 

Of the 105 birds endemic to Madagascar, 83 are found in the 
eastern region and 30 are apparently confined to this area. These 
include the extremely rare Madagascar serpent eagle Eutriorclns 
asiur, and four of the five members of the endemic Madagascan 



family, the Brachypteraciidae or ground-rollers: Ateloniis pittoides, 
Brachypteracias sqiiamiger, Brachypteracias leptosomus and Atelomis 
crossleyi. Madagascar has a high diversity of reptiles and amphib- 
ians, with at least 260 species of the former and 150 of the latter. 
All but two of the amphibians are endemic to Madagascar and 
approximately a third are in an endemic subfamily, the 
Mantellinae. Around 60 per cent of the amphibians are confined 
to low or medium altitude moist forest, with a further 30 per cent 
occurring in montane forest regions. The genera Mantidactylus and 
Booplns are particularly diverse. The reptiles are more evenly dis- 
tributed on the island, with a large number of species in the arid 
southern and seasonal western regions. Nevertheless the eastern 
forests still hold a large number of species, panicularly geckos 
(notably Phelsuma, Lygodactylus, Uwplatiis and Phyllodactylus) and 
chameleons {Chatnaeleo and Brookesia) . 

Among invenebrates, the island has a panicularly important ter- 
restrial molluscan fauna with around 360 endemic species out of 
a total of about 380. There are 1 1 endemic genera but no endemic 
families. The molluscan fauna is particularly rich in areas with cal- 
careous soils, most of which are in the drier western domain, 
although some areas of moist forest are very important, notably the 
Tsaratanana mas;if which has a large number of species in the 
endemic Madagascan genera Ampelita and Acroptychia. 

Mangroves 

Africa and Madagascar possess extensive tracts of mangrove, 
particularly on their western coasts. In common with mangroves 
elsewhere, these forests are of far lower diversity than terrestrial 
tropical moist forests. There are five mangrove species in West 
Africa, all different from those in the east and on Madagascar. They 
are Rhizophora mangle, R. hamsonii, R. racemosa, Avieennia genni- 
nans {- A. afncana, A. nitida) and Laguncidana racemosa. All five 
are widely distributed on the eastern coast of South America and 
on neighbouring islands. Madagascar and East Africa share a 
rather more diverse mangrove flora with nine species, all 
widespread in the Indian Ocean and most extending into the 
Pacific. These are: Rhizophora mucronata, Avieennia marina, 
Sonncratia alba, Certops tagal, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Xytocarpus 
granatum, X. moluccensis, Lionnitzera racemosa and Heritiera lit- 
torahs (White, 1983). The Ceriops on Madagascar is sometimes 
considered an endemic species, C. hoiviniana. 

Biodiversity and Conservation 

In view of their nchness, the conservation of the moist forests of 
the Afrotropical region is of global significance for the maintenance 
of biological diversity. As has been discussed in this chapter, many 
of the species occurting in these forests occupy localised ranges, 
often in areas where forest is inadequately protected and disap- 
pearing at a rapid rate. Areas with a panicularly high number of 
threatened forest species include the Cameroon Highlands, 
Madagascar, the Upper Guinea forests and the East African coastal 
forests. The survival of such species is self-evidently dependent on 
the sur\'ival of the forests they inhabit and these areas must thus 
be considered among the highest priorities for immediate conser- 
vation action m the Afrotropical region. However, it must also be 
remembered that in the medium to long term, adequate protec- 
tion of the lowland forests in the Congo forest block is perhaps of 
greater importance in the maintenance of biological diversity as 
these forests are the richest in species in Africa. At present, because 
the species occurring in them are still comparatively widespread, 
as are the forests themselves, they hold a relatively low proportion 
of species identified as threatened and are therefore generally not 
considered as of the highest priority for species conservation. 



31 



Biological Diversity 




Eliurus myoxmus, an ciuiciiiiL but zridcsprcaJ ivJciir m MaJagaicar. 
This IS one of only ten mdigciious rodent species foiaid on the island. All 
are endemic. C. Harcoun 

References 

Brenan, J. P. M. (1978) Some aspects of the phitogeography of 
tropical Africa. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 65: 
437-78. 

Carcasson, R. H. (1964) A preliminary sur\-ey of the zoogeogra- 
phy of African butterflies. East African Wildlife Journal 2: 122-57. 

Collins, N. M. and Clifton, M. P. (1984) Threatened wildlife in 
the Taita Hills. Szi-ara 7(5): 10-14. 

Collins, N. M. and Morris, M. G. (1985) Threatened Szvallozvtail 
Butteiilies of the World. The lUCN Red Data Book. lUCN, 
Cambridge, UK and Gland, Switzerland, vii + 401 pp. + 8 pis. 

Collar, N. J. and Stuart, S. N. (1985) Threatened Birds of Africa 
and Related Islands. The ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. ICBP, 
Cambridge, UK and lUCN, Cambridge and Gland, 
Switzerland. 

Collar, N. J. and Stuart, S. N. (1988) Key Forests for Threatened 
Birds in Africa. ICBP Monograph No. 3. ICBP, Cambridge, 
UK. 102 pp. 

Crowe, T. M. and Crowe, A. A. (1982) Patterns of distribution, 
diversity and endemism in Afrotropical birds. Journal of Zoology, 
London 198: 417-42. 

Frost, D. R. (ed.) (1985) Amphibian Species of the World: a ta.xo- 
nomic and geographical reference. Allen Press Inc. and The 
Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas, USA. 

Gartshore, M. E. (1986) Status of the montane herpetofauna of 
the Cameroon highlands. In: Stuart, S. N. (ed.) Conservation of 
Cameroon Montane Forests. ICBP, Cambridge, UK. 204-240. 

Guillaumet, J. L. (1967) Recherches sur la i'egetation et la Flore de 
la Region du Bas-Cavally (Cote d'lvoire). Memoires ORSTOM 
No. 20, Paris, France. 

Hamilton, A. C. (1981) The Quaternary history of African 
forests: its relevance to conservation. African Journal of Ecology 
19: 1-6. 



Harcourt, C. and Thomback, J. (1990) Lemurs of Madagascar 

and the Comoros. The IUC\' Red Data Book. lUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 
Jenkins, M. D. (1987) Madagascar: An Environmental Profile. 

lUCN/UNEPAV'VC'F, Cambridge, UK. 
Jensen, F. P. and Stuart, S. N. (1986) The origin and evolution 

of the Cameroon montane forest avifauna. In: Stuan, S. N. (ed.) 

Conservation of Cameroon Montane Forests. ICBP, Cambridge, 

UK. 28-37. 
Lee, P. C, Thomback, L.J. and Bennett, E. L. (1988) Threatened 

Pnmates of Afnca. The lUCX Red Data Book. lUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 
Polhill, R. M. (1968) Tanzania. In: Hedberg, I. and Hedberg, 

O. (eds) Conservation of Vegetation in Africa South of the Sahara. 

Acta Phytogeographica Suecica 54. 
Rabinowitz, P. D. , Cotlin, M. F. and Falvey, D. (1983) The sep- 
aration of Madagascar and Africa. Science 220: 67-69. 
Schiotz, A. (1967) The treefrogs (Rhacophoridae) of West 

Africa. Spoha Zoologica Musei Hauniensis 25: 1-346. 
Wells, S. M., Pyle, R. M. and Collins, N. M. (1983) The lUCN 

Invertebrate Red Data Book. lUCN, Cambridge, UK and Gland, 

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White, F. (1983) The I'egetation of Afnca: a descriptive memoir to 

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Unesco, Pans, France. 356 pp. + 4 maps. 

Authorship 

Martin Jenkins, Cambridge with contributions from Alan 
Hamilton WAX'F-UK. 



The okapi Okapia johnstoni is one oj the most notable endemic 
species of the eastern Zairean loivland ram forests. ]. and T. Hart 




32 



4 Case Studies in 
Conserving Large Mammals 



Introduction 

From an aircraft flying overhead, much of the African rain forest 
canopy may appear intact, verdant and, therefore, rich in wildlife. 
However, the reality on the ground is often quite different. Large 
mammals are hunted extensively for their meat, hides and tusks, 
sometimes to the point of being wiped out over large areas. In addi- 
tion, the rate at which the tropical forest is disappearing is having 
a devastating effect on wildlife. The combined effects of huntmg 
and the destruction of forest on elephants and primates are con- 
sidered in detail in this chapter. 

In much of Africa, ivory poaching is a major problem involving 
networks of criminals at all levels of society both in and outside the 
continent. Although it is easier to kill elephants in the savanna 
areas, heavily armed poachers are eradicating elephants from even 
the remotest forests in Central Africa. In West Africa too, poach- 
ing is a problem, but the elephants here are probably more affected 
by the disappearance of their forest habitat. 

Pnmates are also under severe threat, with 55 per cent of con- 
tinental Africa's forest species listed as vulnerable to, or in danger 
of, extinction. Hunting for meat is a major danger: the larger mon- 
keys and apes are a favourite target for well-armed hunters. Total 
destruction of the forest obviously has a devastating effect on the 
primates, but even the disturbance caused by logging can cause 
their numbers to decline. It is not just single species at risk: whole 
communities of primates are under pressure. 

Elephants and primates can tolerate some degree of disturbance 
to the forest by shifting agriculturalists. For example, elephants 
prefer to feed in the secondary vegetation that springs up on 
abandoned fields and villages, while moderate forest disturbance 
may actually increase local diversity and abundance of primates. 
These conspicuous species, which also play vital ecological roles, 
can provide the flagships for broader conservation programmes. 
The preservation of elephants and primates requires secure 
protected areas but, possibly more importantly, the local people 
themselves must be interested in and involved with the conserva- 
tion of the forests and their wildlife. 



Forest Elephants 

Little is known about forest-dwelling elephants. Our ignorance is 
epitomised by the confusion which surrounds the subspecies (or 
races) of elephant which live in the forest. Textbooks propagate 
the myth that the savanna elephant Loxodotiia afncana africana lives 
in the African savannas, and the forest elephant Loxodoma afncana 
cyclotis lives in the forests. Within the past few years it has become 
clear that both subspecies are found within the forest zone 
(Western, 1986; Carroll, 1988). The relative distribution of the 



two subspecies is not yet understood: do they occupy the same 
areas, or do they inhabit separate patches of the forest? Recent evi- 
dence suggests that L. a. africana may be more common in the 
equatorial forests than L. a. cyclotis, which may be a creature of the 
forest edge rather than the true forest. L. a. cyclotis is smaller than 
L. a. afncana and it has slender tusks which are generally straight 
or only slightly curved. In addition, its ears are smaller and more 
rounded in comparison to those of L. a. afncana, which has almost 
triangular shaped ears. 

Many people believe that a third type of forest elephant exists: 
the pygmy elephant. It is often called L. africana puniilio or L. 
pttnnlio, but its existence has yet to be proved to the satisfaction of 
taxonomists (Haltenorth and Diller, 1977). While it is certain that 
small elephants are found in forests, they may simply be juvenile 
elephants living apart from their natal groups (Western, 1986). 

The Role of Elephants in the Forest Ecosystem 

The forest gives the impression of a paradise of super-abundant 
food. But this is not the case for plant-eating animals. Most plants 
protect themselves from herbivores - whether vertebrate or inver- 
tebrate - with poisonous chemicals, indigestible compounds, or 
physical defences such as thorns. These either poison the animal 
which eats them or interfere with its digestive process. Elephants 
have a digestive system which makes them particularly susceptible 
to toxins and tannins (Olivier, 1978). They must search for plants 
and plant parts which contain only small amounts of such chemi- 
cals, or for those which are not protected at all. For example, the 
fast-growing plant species which spring up in abandoned villages 
and fields usually lack toxins and tannins. Therefore elephants pre- 
fer to feed in secondary forests, those which have been disturbed 
by former human occupation. 

Elephants play a key role in the forest ecosystem (Carroll, 1988; 
Western, 1989). They make paths and mud wallows; on some 
hydromorphic soils they create large, open grassy areas. Their 
browsing retards the closure of canopy gaps caused by fallen trees. 
These gaps are usually occupied by light-loving plants which can- 
not grow in the gloom of the forest, so elephant browsing helps to 
increase the diversity of plants growing at any one time in the 
forest. Their browsing also retards the development of secondary 
forest on abandoned villages and fields. 

Perhaps their most imponant role is as seed dispersers 
(Alexandre, 1978; Lieberman ei al., 1987). Elephants consume 
fruits in large quantities. By the time a fruit has been digested and 
the seeds have passed out in the faeces, the animal may be many 
kilometres from the spot where the fruit was eaten. Furthermore, 
passage through the elephant's digestive system seems to improve 



33 



Case Studies in Conserving Large Mammals 



the chances of successful germination of some plants (Lieberman 
et al, 1987). Thus the elephant benefits by eating the fruit and the 
tree profits by having its seeds carried away to a new place where 
they may germinate. Some trees, such as Ticghemella heckelii, Panda 
oleosa, Klaiiiedoxa gabouensis and Balanites wilsoiiiana, have very 
large fruits or seeds which can be swallowed only by elephants 
(Lieberman et al., 1987; Struhsaker, 1987). It is said that 30 per 
cent of the tree species in the Tai Forest in Cote d'lvoire are dis- 
persed by elephants (Alexandre, 1978). 

Twenty thousand years ago the global climate was quite differ- 
ent from today's. Ice caps had extended over Europe and North 
America, while Africa was cooler and drier than at present. The 
African forests had almost disappeared, being found only in iso- 
lated refuge patches (Hamilton, 1982 and chapter 2). The Zaire 
Basin was covered by dry forests. Later, as the climate became 
warmer and wetter, the forest spread out from the refuges to 
recolonise the lands it had formerly covered. It is certain that ele- 
phants played an important role in modifying the structure and 
composition of the expanding forests. For example, by dispersing 
tree seeds they would have accelerated the spread of forest. Thus 
elephants played an important part in the evolution of today's 
forests and their disappearance could have profound implications 
for the future of those forests. Those trees which need elephants 
to disperse their seeds would disappear. Indeed, the poor regener- 
ation of some forest trees in Cote d'lvoire, Ghana and Uganda may 
be due to the decline of elephants (Lieberman el al., 1987; 
Struhsaker, 1987). 

The Numbers and Distribution of Forest Elephants 

The forests account for about one-third of the total area occupied 
by African elephants. In West Africa the forest elephant popula- 
tions are small (Table 4.1), fragmented and vulnerable to habitat 
loss and poaching. West Africa accounts for only about 3 per cent 
of the continent's elephants. 

Until quite recently, elephants were found throughout the 
unbroken expanse of forest which covers Central Africa, from the 
Atlantic coast of Gabon and Cameroon to the mountains of east- 
ern Zaire. Today they are still found in many parts of the forest 
zone. In 1989 it was estimated that 214,000 elephants lived in the 
Central African forests. This accounts for 35 per cent of the con- 
tinental total. Most are found in Zaire, Gabon and Congo (Table 
4.1). 



Table 4.1 Summary of 1989 estimates of numbers of elephants 
in the West and Central African countries considered in this Atlas 



West Africa 




Central Afnca 


Total 


/;/ forests 


Benin 


2,100 


Cameroon 


22,000 


15,500 


Ghana 


2,800 


CAR 


23,000 


2,200 


Guinea 


560 


Congo 


42,000 


40,500 


Guinea-Bissau 


40 


Equatorial Guinea 500 


500 


Cote d'lvoire 


3,600 


Gabon 


74,000 


68,700 


Liberia 


1,300 


Zaire 


112,000 


86,900 


Nigeria 


1,300 


TOTAL 


273,500 


214,300 


Senegal 


140 








Sierra Leone 
Togo 


380 
380 








TOTAL 


12,600 










20 30 

Dislonce lo nearest village (km) 



(Source: West African figures were calculated using a computer model (Burrill and 
Douglas-Hamilton, 1987; Douglas-Hamilton, 1980); savannas of Central Africa: same 
computer model; Central African forests: based on a modification of the model 
(Michelmorc ei a/., 1989)) 



Figure 4.1 Elephant density (numbers of elephants per sq. 
km of forest) increasing with distance from the nearest village 

(Simrct:: Adapted from Barnes el at., 1991) 

Today ivory poaching is the most important factor determining 
the abundance and distribution of elephants. Heavy poaching has 
eradicated elephants from many forests. In places where there is 
little or no ivory poaching, the distribution of elephants is governed 
by both the past and present distribution of human activities 
(Barnes etal., 1991). Elephants are attracted to lush secondary veg- 
etation which occurs in areas of past human habitation. On the 
other hand, they avoid roads, villages and towns. On a walk from 
a village into the forest there are, at first, no signs of elephants. 
After about 10 or 15 km - depending upon the degree of human 
disturbance - there will begin to be tracks and droppings visible, 
and deeper into the uninhabited forest signs of elephants become 
progressively more abundant (Figure 4.1). 

Over most of the equatorial forests the human population is con- 
centrated along the mam roads, and also along some of the larger 
rivers. Huge areas in between remain largely uninhabited. 
Therefore one can imagine people living and cultivating their crops 
in the roadside band, leaving the deep forests free for elephants. 
This habitat panition is not complete because villagers like to walk 
far away from their villages in search of fish or game, while ele- 
phants sometimes approach villages at night to feed on their crops. 
Crop-raiding elephants can be devastating: in former times ele- 
phants' depredations kept small, isolated communities on the brink 
of starvation. If elephants are to be conserved, the interests of peo- 
ple who lose crops to elephants must be protected. 

Economic development can have mixed consequences for ele- 
phants. Clear-felling for large commercial plantations destroys the 
forest habitat. Roads open up new areas of forest for disturbance 
and poaching. Road and railway construction and mining often 
result in the decimation of elephants because the employees turn to 
poaching in their spare time. However, if the companies take the 
responsibility' for controlling the leisure activities of their employees 
and insist that they observe the law, these forms of economic devel- 
opment need have little deleterious effect upon elephants. 

Logging can have a positive or negative impact on elephant num- 
bers. Timber companies have to construct roads through the forest 
so that they can extract the logs. These roads provide poachers with 
access to places which were previously out of reach. Nevertheless, if 
the timber companies control access to their road networks and 
destroy the roads and bridges when they finish logging, poaching can 
be controlled. Logging can improve the habitat for elephants. 



34 



Case Studies in Conserving Large Mammals 



Selective logging, in which between one and five trees per hectare are 
felled, simulates the effect of natural tree-fall, creating gaps in the 
canopy. Tangled masses of secondary plants spring up and attract 
elephants. In logging concessions where the company prevents 
poaching one can often find surprisingly large numbers of elephants. 

Ivory Poaching 

In the 1970s and 1980s a crime wave swept across Africa. The 
crime was ivor>' poaching, and the criminals were the poachers and 
ivory traffickers. The surge in poaching was stimulated by the 
rising international price of ivory. There has always been hunting 
for ivory in Africa, but the surge in the 1970s was unprecedented 
because it involved a huge network of national and international 
criminals. Local and government officials (some very highly 
placed), the army, police, gendarmes, customs officials, wildlife 
and forestry officers, peasants and merchants were all involved. 
Ivory was given fraudulent certificates or smuggled out of the coun- 
tr>' of origin. Much of the ivory passed at some stage through Hong 
Kong. During the murky journey from Africa to the Far East ille- 
gal consignments appear to have acquired legal certificates, so that 
by the time the ivory reached its destination it was impossible to 
distinguish between ivory of legal and illegal origin. 

Many conservationists had assumed that the vast equatorial 
forests provided a safe refuge for elephants. They thought that the 
wave of poaching had swept across the open savannas leaving the 
forest elephants in peace. This assumption is now known to be false 
(WCI, 1989). For years bands of well-armed and well-organised 
poachers have been going deep into the remotest forests of Zaire, 
and have eradicated elephants from large areas. In Zaire and north- 
ern Congo whole villages gave up their normal pursuits and turned 
to ivory hunting. In northern Gabon some cocoa-farmers have 
abandoned their fields to hunt for elephants. In Cameroon pyg- 
mies were given rifles and commissioned to hunt for ivory. 
Throughout Central Africa, except for Gabon, automatic weapons 
are commonly used to hunt elephants. 

Between 1979 and 1988 about 11 tonnes of ivory were 
exported from the forest countries of West Africa (less than 0.2 per 
cent of the continental total). During the same period 2825 tonnes 
left the forest countries of Central Africa, which was about 39 per 
cent of the continental total (Luxmoore et ai, 1989). These fig- 
ures represent the deaths of at least 800 elephants in West Africa 
and more than 120,000 elephants - possibly as many as a quaner 
of a million - in Central Africa during that decade. These figures 
do not distinguish between ivory from forest or savanna. 
Nevertheless, they illustrate the scale of the killing, most of it ille- 
gal. The most recent estimates (Michelmore et ai, 1989) suggest 
that at least half the forest elephants of Cameroon, Central African 
Republic, Equatorial Guinea and Zaire have been killed since the 
poaching surge began in the mid-1970s. Congo has lost about a 
third of its elephants, while Gabon has probably lost only a small 
proportion. Nearly all have been killed for their ivory; relatively few- 
have been killed legally, after crop-raiding, or by sport-hunters. 

Threats to Elephants 

The immediate threat to elephants in the African forests is ivory 
poaching. Poverty, corruption, the breakdown of law and order, 
the availability of modern weapons, the lack of support for gov- 
ernment wildlife agencies, and the overseas demand for ivory all 
play a part. If ivory poaching continues on a large scale, elephants 
will disappear, first from the West African forests and then from 
the equatorial forest block. 

In the long term, human population growth and the expansion 
of settlement and agriculture will result in loss of habitat and 






Forest edge 

Road 

Area occupied 
by elephants 




Figure 4.2 Schematic representation of the process of 
fragmentation and its effects on elephants 

Figure (a) shows a forest in which elephants dwell. Since the 
forest is surrounded by human habitation the elephants avoid its 
edges. Figure (b) shows what happens when a road is built. Not 
only is the forest split in two parts, but the total area used by 
elephants has decreased because they avoid the band on either 
side of the road. Figure (c) shows the results of constructing 
another road. Now the forest has been split into four pans and 
the total area used by elephants has shrunk further. At first 
elephants might slip backwards and forwards across the roads, 
but as traffic increases and more villages are built along the 
roads, the fragments become completely isolated from each 
other. In time, if the number of elephants in the fragment is 
small, genetic problems due to inbreeding will occur. 

increasing conflict between people and elephants (e.g. crop-raiding). 
There will be increased disturbance caused by logging and mining. 
The combination of accelerating deforestation and growing human 
populations will mean that per capita forest resources will shnnk 
rapidly. This has already reached an acute stage in West Africa. The 
same process is well under way in Central Africa, despite the 
widespread illusion that the equatorial forests will persist for ever 
(Barnes, 1990). There will be less and less room for elephants. 

At the same time, the large blocks of forest we see today will be 
fragmented by roads, railways, villages and towns. The effect of 
fragmentation is illustrated in Figure 4.2; large populations of ani- 
mals become progressively isolated into smaller groups. As their 
refuges diminish (the ratio of edge to area of their habitat 
increases) they become increasingly vulnerable to human distur- 
bance. This process is already in its final stages in the West African 
countries, and in south-west and south-central Cameroon (WCI, 
1 989). It is far advanced in Zaire where the fragmentation has been 
caused by poachers rather than by settlement. Economic develop- 
ment in the equatorial forests with the spread of logging, mining, 
roads, railways and towns into them, will accelerate the fragmen- 
tation of elephant populations. 



35 



Case Studies in Conserving Large Mammals 



Management and Conservation 

Control poaching Clearly the immediate need is to control ivory 
poaching. This requires determined action by governments to deter 
poachers in the field, prevent the illicit transport of ivory within 
each country and stop the smuggling of ivory within and out of 
Africa. It also requires international action, either to control the 
ivory trade rigorously, or to close it down altogether. The 
international community must understand that in the rain forest 
countries most of the raw material for the ivory trade is obtained 
through violent crime. 

Naikmal parks The anticipated deforestation and fragmentation 
described above suggests that the long-term future of elephants 
must lie in a network of large and well-protected national parks or 
game reserves. Existing protected areas must be strengthened and 
new ones created. They should be designed taking into account 
the needs and aspirations of the rural communities. For example, 
to minimise conflict between people and elephants, each protected 
area should be surrounded by a large buffer zone where there is no 
settlement or agriculture, but where hunting, fishing and gathering 
are conducted by the local populace. In those countries which allow 
sport-hunting of elephants, buffer zones can serve as controlled 
elephant hunting areas, with the profits going to the nearby villages 
rather than to central government accounts. The forests in West 
and Central Africa which contain priority populations of elephants 
are shown in Table 4.2. The conservation of these populations is 
necessary to ensure the preservation of the genetic and behavioural 
diversity of the species. 



Table 4.2 Priority populations of elephants in West and Central 
African forests 



West Africa 




Countr\' 


Population 


Cote d'lvoire 


Tai 


Liberia 


Mano and Lofa River forests 


Ghana 


Bia 


Central Africa 




Country 


Population 


Cameroon 


Korup 




Dja 




Mbam and Djerem 




Forests in the extreme south-east 


CAR 


Bayanga/Dzanga-Sangha 


Congo 


Nouabale 




Odzala 




I^c Tele 




Conkouati 


Gabon 


Minkebe 




Petit Loango 




Lope 


Zaire 


Kahuzi-Biega 




Salonga 




Maiko 




Lomami 



(Source: AECCG, 1990) 



Forest elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) at a salt lick in the Dzanga- 
Sangha National Park in the Central African Republic. G. Renson 

'1 



m 



Minimise damage to forests As the rain forest countries develop their 
economies, biologists and government wildlife departments will 
have to work with the managers of development agencies and the 
companies involved in logging, mining, oil-drilling and road and 
railway construction to minimise the deleterious impacts upon the 
forest ecosystem. The development agencies and industrial 
concerns must assume responsibility for ensuring that the forest 
ecosystem continues to function alongside their installations. 






Wildlife departments The conservation of elephants, both inside and 
outside protected areas, requires strong and effective wildlife 
departments with the firm political support of their respective 
governments. Until now the wildlife departments, especially in 
Central Africa, have been starved of funds, equipment and 
personnel and lack the professional training and experience to cope 
with today's problems, let alone the challenge of the future. 




Forest Primates 

The African tropical moist forest zone is home to a very diverse 
assemblage of primates. In a conservative classification (Dates, 
1986), there are 63 non-human primate species in mainland Africa. 
If the moist forest zone considered here (Madagascar is excluded) 
is broadly defined as including the Guineo-Congolian lowland rain 
forest zone of White (1983), together with tropical montane forests 
and the outlying patches of moist forest in coastal East Africa, then 
53 African primate species (84 per cent) have all or most of their 
geographical distribution within tropical moist forest. 

The African forest primates range in size from the nocturnal 
dwarf galago Galagoides demidoff (caWed Galago demidovii in earlier 
publications), which has an average adult body weight of only 70 
g (Nash et al., 1989) and is therefore one of the world's smallest 
primates, to the gorilla Gonlla gorilla, which has an adult male 
weight of 160 kg (Harvey et al., 1987) and is the largest living pri- 



36 



Case Studies in Conserving Large Mammals 



mate species. Many classifications place the African forest primates 
into three families, five subfamilies and about a dozen genera 
(Table 4.3). Where there has not been heavy hunting by humans, 
between 1 and 1 5 primate species commonly live together m areas 
of African moist lowland and medium-altitude forests within 8° of 
the Equator. The most species-rich communities occur in the cen- 
tral forests (that is, from Cameroon to the Great Rift Valley), in 
areas where topography, river courses or moderate disturbance by 
humans or large mammals have produced a mosaic forest habitat. 
Montane forests above about 1 500 m are generally less species-rich. 

Threats to Species Survival 

The 1986-90 lUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group Action Plan 
for African Primate Conservation (referred to here as the PSG 
Action Plan), rated 29 of the 53 African forest primates (55 per 
cent) as vulnerable to, or in danger of, extinction (Oates, 1986). 
The lUCN Red Data Book on Threatened Primates of Africa (Lee 
er ai, 1988, referred to here as the Red Data Book) lists 47 pre- 
dominantly forest-living primates, of which 21 (45 per cent) are 




The eastern lowland gorilla Gorilla gorilla graueri, i,\ Joiind only in 
Zaire. In 1980, it zvas estimated that 3000-5000 individuals 
sunnved. The main threat to them is forest clearance. N. Ellerton 



Table 4.3 Primate species occurring in tropical lowland rain forest, montane forest and swamp forest in continental Africa. 
Classification as in Oates (1986) 



DEGREE OF THREAT 

Oates Lee et al. 

(1986)* (1988)** 



DEGREE OF THREAT 



2 


K 


1 


nt 


1 


nt 


I 


nt 


2 


nt 


2 


K 


3 


V 


1 


nt 



Family Lorisidae 

Subfamily Lorisinae 

Arctocebus calabarensis 

Perodicticus potto 
Subfamily Galaginaef 

Gatago alleni 

Galago deiiiidovii 

Galago iniistus 

Galago thoniasi 

Galago zanzibanciis 

Galago elegantulus 
Family Cercopithecidae 
Subfamily Cercopithecinae 
Tribe Papionini 

Cercocebus atys 

Cercocebus torquatus 

Cercocebus galeritiis 

Cercocebus albigena 

Cercocebus aterrimus 

Mandrillus sphinx 

Mandrillus leucophaeus 
Tribe Cercopithecini 

Cercopithecus diana 

Cercopithecus salongo 

Cercopithecus neglectus 

Cercopithecus hanityni 

Cercopithecus Ihoesti 

Cercopithecus preussi 

Cercopithecus solatus 

Cercopithecus albogularis 

ISmrcc: Oates, 1986; Lee el at, 1988) 

* 1 - not known to be threatened; 2 - rare; 3 - vulnerable; 4 - highly vulnerable; 5 - endangered; h - highly endangered. 

** nt - not threatened; K - insufficiently known (but suspected to be rare or under threat); R - rare; V - vulnerable; E - endangered. 

t The taxonomy of the galagos is in the process of revision. Four of the listed species (excluding cUgaiilutm and inialits) are now in the genus Galagoidcs (see Nash ci at., 1989). 

Galago imisriis has now been renamed O. titatscliici. 
^ The Red Data Book does not list cainpbctli and pagamas as distinct species. Since C. imnia is sympatric in Ghana with caiiipbclli and in Nigeria-Cameroon with pogoiiias, they are 

considered here to be distinct species. 

This refers to the northern Miopilhccm which Oates ( 1 986) regards as a questionably distinct species. 



2 


nt 


3 


V 


3 


nt 


1 


nt 


3 


K 


3 


V 


5 


E 


4 


V 


4 


V 


2 


nt 


4 


V 


3 


V 


5 


E 


4 


V 


1 


nt 





Oates 


Lee et al. 




(1986)* 


(1988)** 


Cercopithecus mitis 


1 


nt 


Cercopithecus nictitans 


2 


nt 


Cercopithecus petaurista 


1 


nt 


Cercopithecus sclaleri 


6 


- 


Cercopithecus erythrogaster 


5 


E 


Cercopithecus erythrotis 


4 


E 


Cercopithecus ceplins 


I 


nt 


Cercopithecus ascanius 


I 


nt 


Cercopithecus campbelli 


I 


a 


Cercopithecus mona 


1 


nt 


Cercopithecus pogonias 


I 


a 


Miopithecus talapoin 


3 


- 


Miopithecus sp. 


1 


nt" 


AUenopithecus nigroviridis 


3 


K 


Subfamily Colobinae 






Procolobiis badius 


3 


V 


Procolobus pennanti 


5 


E 


Procolobus rufomitratus 


3 


V 


Procolobus kirkii 


6 


E 


Procolobus gordononan 


6 


E 


Procolobus verus 


3 


R 


Colobus polykomos 


3 


nt 


Colobus vellerosus 


3 


nt 


Colobus guereza 


1 


nt 


Colobus satanas 


4 


E 


Colobus angolensis 


1 


nt 


imily Pongidae 






Pan troglodytes 


3 


V 


Pan paniscus 


4 


V 


Gorilla gonlla 


4 


V 



37 



Case Studies in Conserving Large Mammals 

regarded as vulnerable or endangered. The two lists are compared 
in Table 4.3, and some of their discrepancies are discussed below. 
TTie Red Data Book entries indicate that forest destruction and hunt- 
ing for meat, often acting in concert, are the chief problems facing 
the great majority of the threatened primate species. In this regard, 
primates are little different from other forest mammals of similar size. 

Moderate forest disturbance resulting, for instance, from shift- 
ing cultivation in areas of low-density human population does not 
appear to pose a major threat to most primates and may actually 
increase local diversity and abundance (Oates et al, 1990b). 
However, heavy logging produces large declines in the abundance 
of most species (Skorupa, 1988; see case study in chapter 31), while 
intensive agriculture resulting in the elimination of most natural 
forest is obviously incompatible with the survival of forest primates. 
For instance, at least 1 2 primate species occur in Rwanda's Nyungwe 
Forest, but none of these species occurs in the adjacent farmland 
which supports one of the densest human populations in Africa. 

Hunting by man has been cited as a major cause of decline in 
the populations of many African forest-living monkeys and apes. 
There are few parts of the African forest zone where humans do 
not live or hunt, and most forest-living people in Africa, unlike 
many grassland people, readily eat monkeys and will often eat ape- 
flesh also (Harcourt and Stewart, 1980; Carpaneto and Germi, 
1989). Monkeys and apes are active during the day, are relatively 
conspicuous animals and are therefore a frequent target of hunt- 
ing; they suffer population declines where the density of hunters is 
high and modern weapons are available. In unlogged forests of 
Cross River State, Nigeria, for example, hunting is intense and few 
primates are seen (Harcourt et al., 1989; Oates ct al., 1990a); in 
contrast, monkeys are relatively abundant in forests on the neigh- 



bouring island of Bioko. In 1969-79, Bioko suffered from harsh 
dictatorial rule during which it lost an estimated 30-50 per cent of 
its human population; in addition in 1974, nearly all shotguns were 
removed from the civilian population (Butynski and Koster, 1989). 
In general, species with large body sizes are more vulnerable to 
hunting than small species. Large primates provide more meat and 
are therefore a more valuable quarry for rural hunters to whom 
guns and ammunition are expensive items; also large primates 
often occur at relatively low population densities and have slow 
breeding rates, so that a small amount of hunting can have a major 
impact on population viability. Least affected by hunting are the 
small, nocturnal prosimians and the smallest Cercopithccus species. 

Interacting with habitat destruction and hunting as threats to 
the survival of forest primates are factors of distribution and ecol- 
ogy. Species with restricted geographical distributions inevitably 
tend to be more vulnerable than those that are widespread, and 
those with narrow niches tend to be more vulnerable than gener- 
alists with broad habitat tolerances. The interaction of these fac- 
tors has been shown in graphical form by Wolfheim (1983). 
Threatened species are frequently those with a geographical range 
of less than 100,000 sq. km (Happel et al., 1987). 

The degree to which primate populations are threatened with 
extinction can therefore be predicted to some extent from a lim- 
ited set of intrinsic and extrinsic circumstances, or vulnerability 
factors: habitat destruction and hunting are usually the major 
threats, and vulnerability to these threats is increased by large body 
size, ecological specialisation, and small geographical range. Each 
of six African species rated as endangered in the PSG Action Plan 
has a small range and suffers from destruction of its habitat or hunt- 
ing or both (Table 4.4). The Zanzibar (or Kirk's) red colobus 



Table 4.4 Vulnerability factors and threats affecting six endangered African forest primate species 
Species Location 



Large body 
size' 



Specialiseii 
niche 



Restncted 
range- 



Intensive 
hunting 



Serious 
habitat loss 



Mandrillus leucophaeus 



SE Nigeria 
W Cameroon 
Bioko 



Cercopilhecus preussi 



SE Nigeria 
W Cameroon 
Bioko 



Cercopithccus sctaterrf 



SE Nigeria 



Cercopilhecus erythrogaster SW Nigeria 
Benin 
Togo? 



+ 
+ 



+ 
+ 



Procolobus pennanti 



W Cameroon 

Bioko 

Congo 

SE Nigeria? 



Procolobus kirkii 



Zanzibar 



Procolobus gordonoruin Uzungwa Mts + 

(Sourre: Oates, 1986) 



(+) 



' Adult female body mass greaier than 5 kg. 

Geographical range covers less than 100,000 sq. km. 

Wollheim (1983) gives the range of Af. leucophaeus a<, 150,000 sq. km; by our calculations its range is not more than half that size. 
t Note that PSG Action Plan treats this as a full species, following Kmgdon (1*^80), while the Red Data Book treats it as a subspecies of CVrcopir/Kciis frv'^'"^"s. 



38 



Case Studies in Conserving Large Mammals 



Table 4.5 Endangered subspecies of African forest primates 



Location 

Lower Tana River, 

Kenya 

Uzungwa Mountains, 

Tanzania 

Eastern Cote d'lvoire, 

Western Ghana 

Bioko (Fernando Poo) 

Western Cameroon, 

Nigeria? 

Lefmi Reserve, Congo 

Lower Tana River, 

Kenya 

West Africa (Senegal to 

Nigeria) 

Virunga Volcanoes 

Eastern Zaire 



Subspecies 

Cercocebus galenrus galentus 

Cercoccbus galentus saiijei 

Procohbus badius waldront* 

Procolobus poinanti pennanti* 
Procohbus pennauti preussi * 

Procolobus pennauti bouvien* 
Procohbus rufomilralus rufomilratus * 

Pan troghdytes venis 

Gorilla gorilla berengei 
Gorilla gonlla graueri 

(iimrcc.Lccil^/., 1988) 

* In the superspccics fbadiusj 



Procohbus [badius] kirkii probably has the smallest total remaining 
population of any African primate species (the Red Data Book 
records 'almost 1500' individuals in 1981) and it is subject to all 
three vulnerability factors. However, a species can be endangered 
even if it is not intrinsically especially vulnerable. For instance, the 
natural range of Sclater's guenon Cercopithecus sclateri appears to 
have been a relatively small area between the Niger and Cross 
Rivers in southern Nigeria, but this species is small-bodied and (as 
far as is known) not particularly specialised in its habitat require- 
ments. But it inhabits an area with one of the densest human pop- 
ulations in Africa where little forest remains and where hunting is 
intense in almost all the remaining forest fragments. 

Additional special threat factors affect some species. The great 
apes, for instance, are threatened not only by habitat destruction and 
hunting, but also because of their close relationship to humans. The 
close genetic similarity of the chimpanzee Pan troglodytes to humans 
makes it a usefiil 'model' in biomedical research. Demand for chim- 
panzees in biomedical laboratories has put extra pressures on wild 
populations, where motliers are shot so that their young may be cap- 
tured (Luoma, 1989j. Despite the chimpanzee's inclusion in 
Appendix I of CITES and the recent upgrading of wild populations 
to endangered status on the US List of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife, there are fears that continuing biomedical demand will result 
in efforts to circumvent legislation by, for instance, the establishment 
of laboratories in the African countries where the species occurs. 

Human fascination with our closest relatives has maintained a 
demand for both chimpanzees and gorillas by pet-keepers, circuses 
and zoos, and this demand inevitably increases threats to wild pop- 
ulations. Young chimpanzees are still being offered for sale on the 
streets of many African cities, while unscrupulous dealers and zoos 
continue to circumvent regulations designed to protect gorillas 
(Anon., 1989). 

Threatened Subspecies 

One of the dangers in ignoring subspecies in conservation planning 
was recently highlighted by a new taxonomic study of the tuatara 
Sphenodon punctatus in New Zealand. It was found that one neglec- 
ted subspecies of this reptile may be extinct, and that another 
neglected population, now reduced to 300 individuals, should 
probably be regarded as a distinct species (Dougherty « a/. , 1990). 



The PSG Action Plan and the Red Data Book recognise a num- 
ber of distinct subspecies of African primate that are threatened. 
Forest-living subspecies listed as endangered in the Red Data Book 
are shown in Table 4.5; several other subspecies are listed as vul- 
nerable. Presently unlisted, poorly known, but possibly in danger 
is the eastern subspecies of the diana monkey Cercopithecus diana 
rolotvay which occurs in eastern Cote d'lvoire and western Ghana 
(along with Mrs Waldron's red colobus Procolobus [badtus] badhis 
zvaldroni, which is listed). 

Subspecies characteristically inhabit small geographical areas 
and because of this they may be threatened by special factors 
uniquely affecting that area. For instance, the Tana River red 
colobus Procolobus fbadiusj nifonntratus ntfonutratus and the Tana 
River mangabey Cercocebus galentus galeritus are dependent on for- 
est that has regenerated on low-lying riverside levees produced by 
changes in river course. The dynamic relationship between the 
river, the forests and the primate populations is being disturbed by 
the increasing farming and burning of low-lying areas where forest 
regeneration might otherwise occur, and by changes in the river's 
flood regime caused by upstream dam construction (Marsh, 1986). 

Threatened Communities 

Species and subspecies of primate, like those of other animals and 
plants, typically occur in geographical association with panicular 
other species or subspecies. Several such distinct regional com- 
munities of forest primates can be recognised in Africa, each con- 
taining a number of unique species or subspecies which have 
broadly overlapping distributions. These communities appear to 
have evolved at least in part through historical processes of large- 
scale climatic change which have caused related changes in both 
the distribution of forest types and in sea level (see chapter 2). 

The PSG Action Plan described five major regional communi- 
ties of primate species in the lowland rain forest zone: Upper 
Guinea, Cameroon, Western Equatorial Africa, Congo Basin, and 
Eastern Zaire (see Figure 4.3). Each region supports 12-20 
primate species, and between them the five regions support more 
than 80 percent of all African forest primates. For this reason, and 

Figure 4.3 The five distinct regional communities of African 
primates mentioned in this chapter 



EASTERN ZAIRE 




UPPER GUINEA 



39 



Case Studies in Conserving Large Mammals 

Table 4.6 Existing and planned protected areas in continental Africa of particular significance for forest primate conservation 



Bumndi 

Kibira National Park 
Cameroon 

Korup National Park 

Dja Faunal Reserve 
Central Afneaii Republic 

Dzangha-Sangha Dense Forest Faunal Reserve 

Dzangha-Ndoki National Park 
Congo 

Northern forest region 
Cote d 'Ivoire 

Tai National Park 
Equatorial Guinea 

Sur de la Isla de Bioko (Gran Caldera) 
Gabon 

Lope Reser\'e, including Foret des Abeilles 
Ghana 

Bia National Park and Bia Game Production Reserve 

Nini-Suhien National Park 

Ankasa Game Production Reserve 
Kenya 

Tana River National Primate Reserve 
Libena 

Sapo National Park 

Gola/Kpelle National Forests 

{Source: MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 1986; Oates, 1986) 
* proposed 



Nigeria 

Okomu Game Reserve 

Cross River National Park (Oban + Okwangwo Divisions)* 

Stubbs Creek Game Reserve* 
Rwanda 

Volcanoes National Park 

Nyungwe Forest Reserve 
Sieira Leone 

Gola Strict Nature Reserves* 

Tiwai Island Game Sanctuary 
Tanzania 

Uzungwa National Park 

Jozani Forest Reserve 

Mahale Mountain National Park 
Uganda 

Bwindi (Impenetrable) National Park* 

Kibale Forest Reserve 

Gorilla Game Reserve 
Zaire 

Ituri Forest* 

Kahuzi-Biega National Park 

Lomako National Park* 

Maiko National Park 

Salonga National Park 

Virunga National Park 



because many species are endemic to a single region, effective 
conservation of the African forest primate fauna as a whole requires 
effective conservation measures in each different forest region. 
Under most active threat at the present time are the Upper Guinea 
and Cameroon forest regions. 

The Upper Guinea forests coincide over much of their area with 
a relatively dense human population, and they are becoming 
increasingly fragmented. This is threatening two subregional pri- 
mate communities, because the primates of the eastern part of the 
Upper Guinea region (the forests of eastern Cote d'lvoire and 
western Ghana) are distinct at the subspecies - and in a few cases 
at the species level - from those in the western part of the region 
(between Sierra Leone and western Cote d'lvoire). The eastern 
subregion, home of the roloway monkey and Mrs Waldron's red 
colobus, is probably most acutely threatened. 

The Cameroon region, comprising the area between the Cross 
River in Nigeria and the Sanaga River in Cameroon, plus the island 
of Bioko, is vulnerable because it is small in size and has high-den- 
sity human populations both scattered through it and threatening 
its periphery. Endemic to this region are the drill Mandrilliis 
leucophaeus, Preuss's guenon Cercopithecus prenssi and two forms of 
Pennant's red colobus Procolobus [badius] pennanti. 

More vulnerable than the primates in any of the major lowland 
forest regions are those inhabiting peripheral forest areas. In the 
mountains and coastal regions of eastern Africa there are many 
small forest areas that contain unique primates and that are vul- 
nerable because of their size and their isolation. Among the most 
important are the Virunga Volcanoes, the Uzungwa Mountains, 
the Tana River and Zanzibar. 

In West Africa, an especially threatened peripheral area is that 
in southern Nigeria and Benin, between the main Upper Guinea 
and Cameroon forests. The white-throated guenon Cereopntieeus 
erytlirogaster occurs only in this area, in the increasingly fragmented 



forests from the Niger Delta westwards, while Sclater's guenon C. 
sclateri is found only in the very densely populated area north and 
east of the delta. 

Protected Areas and Other Conservation Strategies 

The PSG Action Plan and the lUCN Review of the Protected 
Areas System in the Afrotropical Realm (MacKinnon and 
MacKinnon, 1 986) list a variety of existing and proposed national 
parks and other protected areas which between them could pro- 
tect the great majority of the African forest primate fauna. Some 
of these sites have particular significance for the conservation of 
primates (see Table 4.6), and may not be stressed in other con- 
texts. For instance, Okomu in Nigeria is an important site for the 
protection of Cercopithecus erythrogaster, while Stubbs Creek con- 
tains a population of C. sclateri. The Lope Reserve in Gabon con- 
tains part of the Foret des Abeilles, the only known locality for C. 
solatiis. Zanzibar's Jozani Forest is a key site for the protection of 
Kirk's red colobus and the Tana Reserve in Kenya is critical for the 
protection of the endangered Tana River red colobus and crested 
mangabey. TTie Gran Caldera on the island of Bioko, Equatorial 
Guinea, is home to at least six monkey species including the endan- 
gered Pennant's red colobus (which may now survive only in and near 
this locality: Butynski and Koster, 1989). The Ituri Forest in Zaire 
has 1 2 sympatric monkey species including the rare owl-faced guenon 
Cercopithecus kaiiilvni; this may be the richest monkey-species assem- 
blage in Africa (Hart et ai, 1986 and case study in chapter 32). 

It may, however, be dangerous to stress the importance of certain 
protected areas, while ignoring others. No protected area can be 
regarded as completely secure in the long term from destructive intru- 
sion, and even the most secure reserve is likely to change through time 
as a result of the immigration and extinction of some species and 
changes in climate. Any long-term plan for African forest primate 
conservation must therefore aim to establish, where possible, several 



40 



Case Studies in Conserving Large Mammals 



protected areas within the range of each species (or each set of co- 
occurring species: the regional communities described above). 

On the other hand, there is clearly a need in the short term to 
maintain or establish effective protected areas for primates in areas 
where current threats are more acute such as in southern Nigeria, 
and many of the forest islands in eastern Africa. The existence in 
law of large numbers of protected areas in the African forest zone 
is not in itself sufficient to conserve primates and their forest habi- 
tats. The protected areas must actually be protected, which 
requires trained personnel, the money to pay for both the person- 
nel and the facilities and equipment they need. The support of local 
communities for conservation efforts is also required. In tropical 
Africa some or all of these commodities are frequendy lacking and, 
as Watts (1989) has pointed out, economic, social and political fac- 
tors often make these deficiencies difficult to remedy. 



There are exceptions. Examples of successful conservauon pro- 
jects are provided by the very successful Mountain Gorilla Project 
(see case study in chapter 12), together with the Zaire Gorilla 
Conservation Project. These schemes have helped stabilise the 
threatened gorilla population in the Virunga Volcanoes through a 
combination of increased protecdon, tourism development and 
education (Aveling and Aveling, 1989; Vedder, 1989). 
Unfortunately, rather few other forest primate populations have 
the popular appeal, tourism potennal and, therefore, revenue- 
generating potential of the Virunga gorillas and their spectacular 
habitat. 

We must acknowledge that there are no easy remedies to the 
threats facing many African primates. In the long run the most 
effective measures will be those which assist African nations and 
people to develop their own solutions to conservauon problems. 



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Anon. (1989) Two gorillas arrive at Mexican Zoo. International 

Primate Protection League Newsletter 16(2): 3-4. 
Aveling, C. and Aveling, R. (1989) Gorilla conservation in Zaire. 

Orv'x 23: 64-70. 
Barnes, R. P. W. (1990) Deforestation trends in tropical Africa. 

African Journal of Ecology 28: 161-73. 
Barnes, R. F. W., Alers, M. P. T. and Blom, A. ( 1 99 1 ) Man deter- 
mines the distribution of elephants in the relatively undisturbed 
forests of N. E. Gabon. African Journal of Ecology 29: 54-65. 
Burrill, A. and Douglas-Hamilton, I. (1987) African Elephant 
Database Project: Final Report. UNEP/GRID, Nairobi, Kenya. 
Butynski, T. M. and Koster, S. H. (1989) The Status and 
Conservation of Forests and Primates on Bioko Island (Fernando 
Poo), Equatorial Guinea. WWF Unpublished Repon, 
Washington, DC, USA. 64 pp. 
Carpaneto, G. M. and Germi, F. P. ( 1 989) The mammals in the 
zoological culture of the Mbuti pygmies in nonh-eastem Zaire. 
Hystrixl: 1-83. 
Carroll, R. W. (1988) Elephants of the Dzangha-Sangha dense 
forests of south-western Central African Republic. Pachyderm 
10: 12-15. 
Dougherty, C. H., Cree, A., Hay, J. M. and Thompson, M. B. 
(1990) Neglected taxonomy and continuing extinctions of 
tuatara (Sphenodon). Nature 347: 177-9. 
Douglas-Hamilton, I. (1989) Overview of status and trends of 
the African elephants. In: The Ivory' Trade and the Future of the 
African Elephant. Cobb, S. (ed.). Ivory Trade Review Group, 
Oxford, UK. 
Haltenonh, T. and Diller, H. (1977) A Field Guide to the 
Mammals of Africa including Madagascar. Collins, London, UK. 
Hamilton, A. C. (1982) Environmental Historyi of East Africa. 

Academic Press, London, UK. 328pp. 
Happel, R. E., Noss, J. F. and Marsh, C. W. (1987) Distribution, 
abundance and endangerment of primates. In: Pnmate 
Conservation in the Tropical Rain Forest. Marsh, C. W. and 
Mittermeier, R. A. (eds), pp. 63-82. Alan R. Liss, New York, 
USA. 
Harcourt, A. H. and Stewart, K. J. (1980) Gonlla-eaters of 

Gabon. Oryx 15: 248-51. 
Harcourt, A. H., Stewan, K. J. and Inaharo, I. M. (1989) Gorilla 
quest in Nigeria. Oryx 23: 7-13. 



Hart, J. A., Hart, T. B. and Thomas, S. (1986) The Ituri 
Forest of Zaire: primate diversity and prospects for conserva- 
tion. Primate Conservation 7: 42-4. 

Harvey, P. H., Martin, R. D. and Clutton-Brock, T. H. 
(1987) Life histones in comparative perspective. In: Pnmate 
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Wrangham, R. W. and Struhsaker, T. T. (eds), pp. 181-96. 
University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA. 

Kingdon,]. S. (1980) The role of visual signals and face patterns 
in African forest monkeys (guenons) of the genus Cercopithecus. 
Transactions of the Zoological Society, London 35: 425-75. 

Lee, P. C, Thomback, J. and Bennett, E. L. (1988) Threatened 
Primates of Afnca: The lUCN Red Data Book. lUCN, Gland, 
Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 

Lieberman, D., Lieberman, M. and Martin, C. (1987) Notes on 
seeds in elephant dung from Bia National Park, Ghana. 
Biotropica 19: 365-9. 

Luoma, J. R. (1989) The chimp connection. Animal Kingdom 
92(1): 38-51. 

Luxmoore, R., Caldwell, J. and Hithersay, L. (1989) The vol- 
ume of raw ivory entering international trade from African pro- 
ducing countries from 1979-1988. In: The Ivory Trade and the 
Future of the African Elephant. Cobb, S. (ed.). Ivory Trade 
Review Group, Oxford, UK. 

Marsh, C. W. (1986) A resurvey of Tana River primates and 
their habitat. Pnmate Conservation 7: 72-82. 

MacKinnon, J. and MacKinnon, K. (1986) Review of the 
Protected Areas System in the Afrotropical Realm. lUCN, Gland, 
Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 

Michelmore, F., Beardsley, K., Barnes, R. and Douglas-Hamilton, 
I. (1989) Elephant population estimates for the central African 
forests. In: The Ivor^' Trade and the Future of the African Elephant. 
Cobb, S. (ed.). Ivory Trade Review Group, Oxford, UK. 

Nash, L. T., Bearder, S. K. and Olson, T. R. (1989) Synopsis 
of Galago species characteristics. International Journal of 
Primatology 10: 57-80. 

Oates, J. F. (1986) Action Plan for African Pnmate Conservation 
1986-90. lUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, Stony Brook, 
New York, USA. 

Oates, J. F., White, D., Gadsby, E. L. and Bisong, P. O. 
( 1 990a) Conservation of Gorillas and Other Species. Appendix to 
Feasibility Study, Cross River National Park (Okwangwo 
Division). Unpublished report to WWF-UK. 
Oates, J. F., Whitesides, G. H., Davies, A. G., Waterman, P. G., 
Green, S. M., Dasilva, G. L. and Mole, S. ( 1 990b) Determinants 



41 



Case Studies in Conserving Large Mammals 

of variation in tropical forest primate biomass: new evidence from 

West Africa. Ecology 71: 328-43. 
Olivier, R. C. D. (1978) On the Ecology of the Asian Elephant, 

Elephas maximus Linnaeus, with Particular Reference to Malaya 

and Sn Lanka. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of 

Cambridge, UK. 
Skorupa, J. P. ( 1 988) The Effects of Selective Timber Haii'csung o)i 

Rai)i Forest Pninarcs in Kihale Forest, Uganda. PhD dissertation, 

University of California, Davis, USA. 
Struhsaker, T. T. (1987) Forestry issues and conservation in 

Uganda. Biological Conservation 39: 209-34. 
Vedder, A. (1989) In the hall of the mountain king. Animal 

Kingdom 92(3): 31-43. 
Watts, D. P. (1989) Review of Threatened Primates of Africa: 

The lUCN Red Data Book. International Journal of Pnmalology 

10: 383-5. 
WCI (1989) The status of elephants in the forests of central 

Africa: results of a reconnaissance survey. In: The Ivory Trade 

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Trade Review Group, Oxford, UK. 



Western, D. (1986) The pygmy elephant: a myth and a mystery. 

Pacliydenn 1: 4-5. 
Western, D. ( 1 989) The ecological value of elephants: a keystone 

role in Africa's ecosystems. In: The Ivory Trade and the Future of 

the African Elephant. Cobb, S. (ed.). Ivory Trade Review Group, 

Oxford, UK. 
White, F. (1983) The I'egelation of Africa: a descriptive memoir to 

accompany the Unesco/AETFAT/USSO vegetation map of Africa. 

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Seatde, USA. 



Authorship 

Richard Barnes, Wildlife Conservation International, University of 
California, San Diego, USA for the section on forest elephants and 
John Oates, Hunter College, City University of New York for pri- 
mate consen'ation. 



42 



5 Forest People 



Introduction 

The majority of people living in Central Africa rely on the resources 
of the forest for a significant proportion of their livelihood. The 
major groups of forest-dwelling peoples are the traditional shifting 
cultivators of the Bantu and Sudanic speaking groups and the many 
loosely linked tribes collectively known as pygmies, who are mamly 
hunter-gatherers. The shifting cultivators are predominant, clear- 
ing and plantmg forest land which they cultivate for one to three 
years before moving on. Most households clear some new area of 
forest each year. In addition to cultivation, nearly all forest-living 
farmers supplement their diet and income by fishing, hunting and 
gathering forest products. Bantu people living along rivers often 
specialise in fishing and nearly all farmers fish seasonally. Hunting 
forest animals, especially duikers and monkeys, provides the ma]or 
source of protein for many families, while commercial hunting of 
forest animals to supply protein to large towns and cities is also 
common among African forest-living people. Moreover, gathered 
forest products, including honey, nuts, fruits, leaves and insects 
(mainly caterpillars and termites), provide important supplements 
to diets that would otherwise lack diversity and essential nutrients. 
Additionally, these people rely on the forest for their building 
materials and their firewood. 

Before the colonial period, the Bantu and Sudanic people were 
primarily subsistence fanners, cultivating crops and extracting 
from the forest only those resources required for their own main- 
tenance. After the First World War, when colonists introduced new- 
crops, local people were induced to produce surplus crops for cash. 
Thus today, in addition to their traditional swidden gardens, which 
normally contain cassava, plantains, com, taro and yams, most 
households cultivate cash crops such as rice, peanuts, coffee, cacao 
and oil palms. 

Although in many areas of Central Africa road systems and river 
transport are poor, almost all forest farmers live along a river or 
road offering some access to outside markets. Many also live near 
a commercial operation which can offer opportunities for casual 
employment. Consequently, a substantial proportion of the peo- 
ple eke out their living by working at least seasonally for commer- 
cial coffee, oil palm, cacao or rubber plantations or for mining or 
logging operations. 

Most Bantu and Sudanic farmers of Central Africa reside in 
small villages with between 10 and 250 inhabitants. Village resi- 
dence is usually determined by clan affiliation. Chieftainships were 
frequently created by colonial powers for administrative purposes, 
often in ignorance of cultural affinities and, therefore, not always 
representing traditional tribal affiliations. Moreover, because the 
majority of Central African tribal peoples were divided into lin- 



eages without chiefs, kings or any form of centralised authority, 
modern day chiefs and other government officials are not always 
effective leaders nor trusted representatives of tribal opinion. 
Cultural identity is based on language, kinship, oral history and 
cultural practices, such as initiation ceremonies, body markings, 
marriage and kinship rules and often centred on a specific area of 
forest. The forest nearly always figures prominently in the history 
as well as magico-religious myths and ceremonies of its peoples 
and is thus important to their sense of identity and psychological 
well-being. 

African Pygmies 

Pygmies are distributed across the forested regions of Central Africa. 
They are short in stamre and traditionally live by specialising in 
hunting and gathering wild forest resources which they consume 
themselves or trade to neighbouring Bantu and Sudanic-speaking 
farmers in exchange for cultivated foods. There has been a long history 
of contact and extensive economic and political relations between 
pygmies and these farmers in the Afncan rain forests for at least 2000 
and possibly as long as 4000 years (Ehret and Posnansk\', 1982). 

There are around 200,000 pygmies distributed discontinuously 
across the nine African countries of Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, 
Zaire, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, 
Gabon and Congo (Waehle, 1991). They live in innumerable 
distinct ethnic groups that are separated by geography, language, 
custom and technologv'. Pygmies in most areas are unaware of the 
existence of pygmies in other areas and there is no sense of soli- 
darit>' between different populations. The one characteristic that 
is common to them all, no matter their location or level of accul- 
turation, is their disdain for the term pygmy. Without exception 
they prefer to be called by their appropriate ethnic name (such as 
Mbuti, Efe, Aka, Asua) and consider the term pygmy as pejora- 
tive. That there is no one generic term other than this European 
word - derived from the Greek pyiiie, meaning a unit of measure 
whose length was from the elbow to the knuckle - bears testimony 
to the absence of any pan-pygmy awareness. Unfortunately, until 
the people themselves generate a different term, we are forced to 
use the word pygmy. 

Pygmies have long been considered the original inhabitants of 
African tropical rain forest. However, there is no suitable defini- 
tion or precise descnption of the African people referred to by most 
of the world as pygmy, since there is no physical or cultural feature 
that distinguishes them absolutely from other Africans. While they 
are known for their short stature, the average height of many pygmy 
populations overlaps with that of other populations in Africa and 



43 



Forest People 




,-i liiiiiihiili from Sciiihki I 



S. Hcai\lcr 



in other tropical forest areas of the world (Bailey, 1991). Genetically, 
there is no evidence that pygmies are distinct from other Africans; 
there is no 'pygmy marker' that is common to all pygmies and exclu- 
sive of all other Africans (Cavalli-Sforza, 1986). Similarly, linguisti- 
cally and culturally pygmies cannot be considered distinct from other 
Africans; there is no distinctive 'pygmy language family' and pyg- 
mies across Central Africa exhibit a broad range of cultural adapta- 
tions, many similar to those of Bantu and other Afncan farmers. 

Contrary to many romanticised accounts of pygmy life, there are 
no people living today in Central Africa as pure hunter-gatherers, 
independently of agriculture. All evidence suggests that this has 
been true for many hundreds of years (Bahuchet and Guillaume, 
1982) if indeed pygmies ever lived in the forest without access to 
agricultural foods (Bailey and Peacock, 1988; Bailey ct al., 1989). 
Today, most pygmies are hunter-gatherers. They specialise in 
extracting resources from the forest. They consume some of those 
products themselves and some they trade with others to acquire 
cultivated foods, iron implements and other merchandise. 
Everywhere that pygmies have been carefully studied, including 
the most remote corners of their geographic distribution, 
researchers have found them relying on cultivated foods for at least 
50 per cent of their diet (Bahuchet, 1985; Bailey and Peacock, 
1988). Moreover, pygmies everywhere have extensive relations 
with neighbouring Bantu and Sudanic-speaking farmers, relations 
that extend beyond economic trade to include all aspects of polit- 
ical, religious and social life. Indeed, it is not possible to consider 
pygmy culture and subsistence in isolation from the African farm- 
ers with whom they trade and live. 



In most areas of Central Africa, specific clans of pygmies have 
traditional relations with specific clans of farmers and these rela- 
tionships are passed from one generation to the next creating a 
complex web of economic and social exchange that leads to high 
levels of cooperation and support. Pygmies provide forest products 
- protein-rich meat in particular - to farmers while the farmers pro- 
vide much needed starch to pygmy foragers. The meat, honey and 
medicinal products from the forest are significant contributions to 
farmers' survival, while these days pygmies would be hard pressed 
without the iron implements and the political representation pro- 
vided by farmers. In most areas, pygmies are viewed by farmers as 
essential to successful ceremonies, while farmers can have consider- 
able control over many crucial pygmy events, including marriage, 
circumcision and burial. Relations between pygmies and farmers are 
so extensive that elaborate systems tie the two groups together in a 
web of kinship that ensures social and economic interdependence. 
In some areas there is intermarriage - pygmy women marry farmer 
men but farmer women never marry pygmy men (Bailey, 1988). 

Close relations between pygmies and farmers extend to their 
perceptions of rights to land. Each farmer clan has rights recog- 
nised by all neighbouring farmer clans to a specific area of forest 
which they may clear to cultivate their crops, or where they may 
hunt, fish, gather and extract required materials. Each clan of pyg- 
mies also has recognised rights to exploit the same area of forest as 
the farmer clan with which it is traditionally associated. The farm- 
ers assist their pygmy partners in maintaining exclusive rights to 
this area and violations by either pygmies or other farmers are con- 
tested through negotiation or sometimes violence. In this way, 
most, if not all areas of forest in Central Africa are claimed by 
indigenous people and elaborate informal mechanisms exist to 
guarantee specific land rights. 

It should be clear that, for the purposes of designing pro- 
grammes for development or conservation, pygmies cannot be con- 
sidered in isolation from indigenous forest farmers. Central African 
farmers and pygmies exist together, are interdependent and should 
be considered as an integrated economic and social system. This 
is a system that is generally not recognised by African governments 
and is minimally integrated into the formal politics and economy 
of the national societies. Yet, for the people themselves, the sys- 
tem facilitates the spreading of risk in an uncertain environment 
and offers mutual support to indigenous people vulnerable to 
unpredictable changes brought by outside agents. 

While most pygmies in Central Africa still live within the tradi- 
tional farmer-pygmy relationship, most also engage in activities 
outside that relationship and, like their farming partners, have man- 
aged to adapt in myriad ways to changes caused by development and 
commercialisation. This is true not just in individual localities where 
development has been more extensive, but in every area of Centra! 
Africa. Any one population of pygmies spans the full range of levels 
of acculturation and adaptation to changing conditions. 

Commercial Hunting and Employment 

The growing population around the edges of the Zaire Basin means 
a rising demand for meat from the forest. Increasingly, pygmies are 
becoming commercial hunters, spending greater proportions of 
their time hunting forest game and selling larger quantities of meat 
to traders who come great distances from towns and cities located 
at the edges of the forest. The effect is to break down the tradi- 
tional farmer-pygmy relationship, to bring pygmies into the money 
economy and inevitably to cause the depletion of wild game, thus 
endangering not only the forest fauna but also the subsistence base 
and basic way of life of pygmies and their farmer partners (Hart, 
1979; Bailey, 1982; Bahuchet, n.d.). 



44 



Forest People 



Many pygmies also work on a casual, sporadic basis for 
commercial coffee, rubber or palm plantations or for logging 
companies. None is in a position of authority or high salary. They 
generally work seasonally, planting, weedmg or harvesting on plan- 
tations or identifying trees and supplying other workers with meat 
on logging operations. 

Farming and Settlement 

In recent years, some pygmies have become sedentary, living a set- 
tled life as farmers in villages. In some regions, insufficient areas 
of forest remain to suppon the pygmies' specialised hunting and 
gathering. In others, overhunting has depleted forest game. 
Moreover, in every region there have been periodic formal cam- 
paigns by national governments to force pygmies, or induce them 
with gifts, to settle in villages and become sedentary farmers. 
Missionaries in almost every region have also been active in this 
regard. Many reasons are given for the need for these programmes, 
but the most often cited are three: first, pygmies are at a primitive 
stage of evolution and intervention is needed to bring them into 
the modem economy; second, pygmies must be brought into the 
mainstream of the national culture and economy to become pro- 
ductive members of the society; and third, pygmies must become 
independent of their farmer 'patrons', who exploit them unfairly. 
Those who design and implement these settlement programmes 
do not recognise the economic or social value of the traditional 
farmer-pygmy relationship, nor do they appreciate the contribu- 
tion that forest nomads make to the national economy by efficiently 
exploiting forest resources on a sustainable basis. The pygmies 
themselves are seldom, if ever, consulted or given a decision mak- 
ing role in the design and implementation of these programmes. 

Most settlement programmes have failed. The pygmies return 
to the forest when the gifts run out or they abandon their gardens 
when the first good honey season begins. Nevertheless, increas- 
ingly there are pygmies who have voluntarily turned to farming and 
who live in villages along the roads. Like traditional African farm- 
ers, they spend at least some time in the forest and depend upon 



it for a significant supplement to their mixed farming subsistence. 
A few such sedentary farming pygmies, again like their farmer 
neighbours, grow some cash crops in addition to their subsistence 
crops, but this is far from common in any region. 

A very small number of pygmies have moved into towns and can 
even be seen in major cities. Some are hired as guards, armed with 
bow and arrow or crossbow, to protect stores in urban settings. 
Others become homeless beggars, curiosities for foreign tourists 
and African urban dwellers. The great majority return to the 
forest after a short time. 

Education and Health 

Very few pygmies are literate. Because of their mobile existence, 
they seldom attend school for more than a few weeks. In many areas 
there is oven discrimination against pygmies in schools by both 
teachers and farmers, who value pygmies' skills in the forest but 
belittle their capabilities to leam in school. In almost every region 
of Central Africa there are a few literacy programmes exclusively 
for pygmies. These are often associated with settlement schemes 
initiated and administered by missionaries. Thus far, they have had 
limited success as pygmies strive to maintain their mobility. 

Health facilities are poor throughout rural Africa, but especially for 
people living in remote areas. Dispensaries are usually available but 
are rarely supplied with medicines. In many areas local tradesmen 
with no medical knowledge are the main suppliers of antibiotics, anti- 
malarials and other drugs. Virmally all rural people have indigenous 
health care systems with traditional healers using herbs and divina- 
tion techniques to cure natural and supernatural (for example, 
witchcraft and sorcery) illnesses. In forest regions, the local pygmies 
are either the principal traditional healers or play imponant roles. 

Pygmies tend to use dispensaries and other sources of western 
medicine less than their farmer partners. This is no doubt due in 
part to pygmies' high mobility and tendency to be further from the 
source, but other factors contribute to their lower reliance on non- 
traditional health care. In some areas they are discriminated against 
by health care workers. They are less integrated into the cash 



A Mbun family in rhc soiali-cvcsii'm /orcsts of the Central Afncau RepiiHu 



G. Rcnson 




45 



Forest People 



The Okapi Project 

When Stanley's Emin Pasha Relief Expedition completed its 
crossing of eastern Zaire in 1885, the surviving expedition mem- 
bers turned on the hated rain forest - 'this Green Hell' - and 
accused it of the murder of hundreds of their company. They 
called it 'a wilderness of fungi and wood-beans, infinitely sullen, 
remorseless and implacable' (Stanley, 1887). Yet for many 
thousands of years, these same forests have been the secure 
home of Africa's nomadic pygmies, hunter-gatherer people 
whose existence is finely tuned to life beneath the forest canopy. 

The first Central African conservation project which aims to 
'meet the needs of sustaining the traditional lifestyle of these 
people' is the Okapi Conservation Project (Stone, 1987), in the 
Ituri forest of north-east Zaire. The Ituri is home to four major 
pygmy hunter-gatherer groups - the Efe, Mbuti, Tswa and Aka 
- numbering many hundreds of people (Wilkie, 1990). Due to 
the rugged and inaccessible nature of the forest, these pygmies 
are some of the least acculturated in Zaire. However, in recent 
years, gold prospecting, immigration, commercialisation of the 
wild bush-meat trade, timber exploitation and charcoal pro- 
duction have all staned to threaten the Ituri forest (Hall, 1990). 
The Bantu population is expanding fast, especially in the west, 
around the town of Wamba, and in the south as people spill over 
from the highly populated Kivu region. While timber and char- 
coal exploitation is concentrated around the three roads that 
run through the Ituri, gold prospectors have penetrated the 
heart of the Ituri forest itself (Wilkie, 1990). 

All these factors, though contributing little as yet to the 
destruction of the Ituri forest, may lead to the rapid breakdown 
of the traditional existence of the pygmies. For instance, gold- 
mining introduces large Bantu populations into the deepest 
reaches of the forest. The gold-miners pay porters to bring in 
food from the nearest road-side villages and finance the hunt- 
ing of forest animals around the camps (Wilkie, 1990). Those 
best fitted for both tasks are the pygmies of the Ituri, who have 
an intimate knowledge of the topography of the forest and are 
expert hunters of its wildlife with their nets and spears or with 
bow and arrow. Thus the pygmies have been drawn into the 
thriving market economy for bush-meat both within the forest 
and in nearby towns. 

As a result, the normal hunting-gathering cycle of many 
pygmy groups - which follows the yearly abundance of honey, 
good hunting or the cropping of their neighbours' farms - has 
been disrupted and is now ruled by the occurrence of commer- 
cial opportunities in the gold-camps or along the roads. This 
has lead to the breakdown of the traditional pygmy relationship 
based on game and labour exchange with neighbouring Bantu 
villages. Though the Efe pygmies are often cited as an example 
of traditional hunters-gatherers, they obtain at least 50 per cent 
of their food from the fields of their cultivating neighbours. All 
the Ituri pygmy groups have a similar, mutually beneficial 
relationship with the Bantu. The breakdown of this traditional 
system strikes at the ver\' heart of the culture of the pygmies and 
their farming partners. 

The Okapi Project aims to use the very skills that can make 
the pygmies a threat to the wildlife of the Ituri, while at the same 
time 'protecting the land-tenure and subsistence rights of the 
indigenous human populations' (Wilkie, 1990). Because the 



Ituri harbours such an abundance of forest mammals, the cre- 
ation of an Okapi Rainforest Reserve is the first concern of the 
project. Yet for pygmy and farmer alike, the Ituri is a vital, 
renewable resource and, as forest animals are the prime source 
of protein in their diets, they will need to continue exploiting 
the forest after the establishment of the reserve. 

Recognising this fact, WWT and the Institut Zairois pour la 
Conservation de la Nature (IZCN) have designed a multiple- 
use rain forest reserve, with a smaller core national park wilder- 
ness area and surrounding buffer zone. Human activity will be 
zoned - minimal within the core park area, increasing towards 
the surrounding buffer zones. Under an IZCN programme to 
supply the rare okapi Okapia johnstoni lo zoos, capture zones for 
this species have been set (Hall, 1990). Pygmies have long been 
employed by the Okapi Research Station to track and trap the 
elusive okapi (see case study on the Ituri forest in chapter 32). As 
a result, both the pygmies and the Okapi Project benefit; the pyg- 
mies receive regular wages for conservation-oriented work which 
uses their forest skills and alerts them to the benefit of conserv- 
ing the wildlife of the Ituri, while the Okapi Project is assured of 
the support of the pygmies in all its conservation activities. 

At present, though the Ituri is not yet an official park/reserve. 
It is treated like one by all concerned. The process of gazette- 
ment has been long and delicate, but an official park proposal 
has recently been completed. With the inauguration of the 
reserve, the opportunities for involvement of the local pygmies 
should increase. With their intimate knowledge of and respect 
for the forest, the pygmies should prove ideal park guards, sci- 
entific research counterparts and tourist guides for the increased 
volume of 'ecotourists' (both national and foreign) who will visit 
the park. In this way, the Okapi Project should reinforce the 
sanctity of the pygmies' self-sufficient existence by involving 
them as partners in conserving the Ituri forest. It seems to be 
working. Even the most acculturated Mbuti pygmies, who work 
for the Okapi Research Station, wear 'European' clothing and 
are closely involved in the intruding cash-economy, still retain 
much of their traditional way of life and intimacy with the 
forest. During celebrations at the start of the honey season - a 
ritual at which pygmy camps gather to dance, socialise and 
reinforce their traditions - all the pygmies, regardless of their 
'profession' become deeply involved in the day's events. 
Working for the Research Station, in the outside world, does 
not appear to detract from the forest world of the individual 
Mbuti and the reverence and respect they retain for it. 

To succeed in protecting the rain forest and the way of life of 
Africa's pygmies, projects like the Okapi will need to involve the 
pygmies at all levels. In this respect, the Okapi project has one 
major shortcoming: it aims to ensure that 'the majority of the 
indigenous population inhabit areas outside the reserve' to min- 
imise the impact of 'their subsistence practices . . . upon the 
reserve's protected biota' (Wilkie, 1990). Bearing in mind the 
low density of the pygmy population and the fact that they 
adhere to well-respected traditional territories (Turnbull, 
1 96 1 ), it is to be hoped that it will be possible for them to remain 
within the reserve. The major conservation challenge is not only 
to protect the biodiversity of the Central African rain forest, but 
to preserve the cultural variety or ethnodiversity of its people. 

Soiirci:: Damien Lewis 



46 



Forest People 



economv and so have fewer means of paying for medicines. Being 
the priman,' traditional healers in many areas, they are more likely 
to rely exclusively upon this traditional health care. 

Both Afncan farmers and pygmies are less well nourished - judged 
by weight to height ratio and skinfold thickness - than western pop- 
ulations. While farmers tend to be better nourished than their pygmy 
partners, there is evidence that pygmies experience less dramatic 
fluctuations in body weight than do farmers. There is a high preva- 
lence of parasitic and infectious diseases among both farmers and 
pygmies. Malana, tuberculosis, amoebiasis and filariasis are all very 
prevalent. In some areas river blindness caused by filaria afflicts up 
to 20 per cent of adults. Manioc is the staple food for many forest- 
dwelling Africans; as a result goitre is highly prevalent. Hypertensive 
and coronary hean disease and chronic diseases more typical of 
industrialised countries are rare. Pain and secondary infection 
caused by trauma are common occurrences in the lives of forest peo- 
ple. Hernias among both sexes are a common ailment. Accidents 
with machetes and other tools are not infrequent among farmers, 
while pygmies experience trauma to their feet and other body parts 
almost routinely as part of their forest foraging existence. 

Fertility and Mortality 

Africans are known to experience the highest average fernlity rates 
in the world, with each woman m many countries bearing an aver- 
age of 6.5-8.0 children. In contrast, in forested parts of Central 
Africa many populations have astonishingly low average fertility, 
due primarily to high rates of sterility. In many areas, 25-45 per 
cent of postmenopausal women have had no or just one live birth 
(Romaniuk, 1967; Voas, 1981; Caldwell and Caldwell, 1983). 
While there are many possible causes of the high rates of infertil- 
ity, the most likely is infection with gonorrhoea causing tubal occlu- 
sions and blockage (Belsey, 1976). 

Many farmer and pygmy populations that are the traditional 
inhabitants of the Central African rain forest have high rates of 
infertility and each woman has an average of only 2.5-3.5 children. 
The more recent immigrants to the forest and the populations on 
the edge of the forest, on the other hand, tend to have more off- 
spring. Consequently, populations expanding into the forest are 
growing populations, while the indigenous populations may be 
declining or, at best, stable. Each pygmy population tends to have 
a fertility rate similar to the farmer population with which it asso- 
ciates. In many areas, Africans consider pygmies as highly fertile 
but this is not supported by the evidence at hand. 



Infant and child mortality rates of forest-dwelling farmers and 
pygmies are poorly known. It appears that in areas where fertility 
rates are low, infant and child mortality rates are surprisingly low 
(Bailey, 1 989), whereas in areas with higher fertility, mortality rates 
climb. The principal causes of infant and childhood death are 
infectious and parasitic diseases, including malaria, tuberculosis 
and amoebiasis. There is no evidence that pygmies differ from 
farmers in their mortality rates. This suggests that the two groups are 
equally exposed and susceptible to the same diseases, although this 
has not been studied systematically (cf Mann ci al. , 1962; Hewlett 
etai, 1986; Dietz «.;/., 1989). 

Protection of the Forests 

The pygmies' nomadic way of life is an effective strategy for exploit- 
ing the tropical rain forest in a sustainable way and the forest itself 
is vital to the economic, social and psychological well-being of the 
indigenous peoples. Protection of forest areas as reserves and parks 
IS not incompatible with the continued presence of forest people 
(see the Okapi Project case study). Indeed they can enhance efforts 
to protect forest flora and fauna. Living at low densities as they do, 
the pygmies are unlikely to over-exploit the resources on which 
they depend. It should, therefore, not be necessary to remove them 
from protected areas, nor should there be any need to place severe 
restrictions on their rights to forest resources. 

In the forest areas of Central Africa, tourism is only nascent at 
present, but it does exist (see case study on tourism in Rwanda in 
chapter 9) and is sure to increase with the growing popularity of 
'ecotourism' and 'ethnotourism' in the developed countries. Often 
indigenous groups have been permitted to remain in protected 
areas as long as they remain 'traditional' - a term usually defined 
by policy makers without consultation with, or extensive historical 
knowledge of, the peoples themselves. Such restrictions lead to 
'enforced primitivism' (Goodland, 1982), whereby tribal people 
are expected to remain traditional, enhancing their value as a 
tourist attraction while the rest of the world passes them by. If for- 
est people are made part of tourist strategies rather than being 
manipulated by those seeking unfair profits, tourism can enhance 
cultural awareness and the knowledge of ethnic history while 
avoiding the 'people in a zoo' phenomenon. The durable success 
of a tourist industry in any Central African country depends upon 
the enthusiastic participation of indigenous peoples who will be 
crucial for maintaining the cultural and environmental integrity of 
the region. 



References 

Bahuchet, S. (1985) Les Pygmies Aka el la Foret Cemrafricaine: 

Ethnologie Ecologique. SELAF, Paris, France. 
Bahuchet, S. (n.d.) Les Pygmees d'Aujourd'hui en Afrique Centrale. 

Unpublished manuscript. 
Bahuchet, S. and Guillaume,H. (1982) Aka-farmer relations in the 

northwest Congo basin. In: Poliucs and Histoiy in Band Socieaei. 

Leacock, E. P. and Lee, R. B. (eds), pp. 189-211. Cambndge 

University Press, Cambridge, UK. 
Bailey, R. C. (1982) Development in the Ituri Forest of Zaire. 

Cultural Survival Quarterly 6(2): 23-5. 
Bailey, R. C. (1988) The significance of hypergyny for understanding 

subsistence behaviour among contemporary hunters and gatherers. In: 

Diet and Subsistence: Archaeological Penpcctives. Kennedy, B. V. and 

LeMoine (eds), pp. 57-65. Calgary University Press, Calgan,', Canada. 
Bailey, R. C. (1989) The Demography of Foragers and Fanners in 

the hurt Forest, Zaire. Paper presented at the 88th Annual 

Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, 

Washington, DC, USA. 



Bailey, R. C. (1991) The comparative growth of Efe pygmies and 
African farmers from birth to age five years. Annals of Human 
Bwlogymiy. 113-20. 

Bailey, R. C. and Peacock, N. (1988) Efe pygmies of northeast 
Zaire: subsistence strategies in the Ituri Forest. In: Coping with 
Uncertainty in Food Supply, de Garine, I. and Harrison, G. A. 
(eds), pp. 88-1 17. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. 

Bailey, R. C, Head, G., Jenike, M., Owen, B., Rechtman, R. and 
Zechenter, E. (1989) Hunting and gathering in tropical rain 
forest: is it possible? American Anthropologist 91(1): 59-82. 

Belsey, M. A. (1976) The epidemiology of infertility: a review 
with particular reference to sub-Saharan Africa. Bulletin of the 
World Health Organisation 54: 319-41. 

Caldwell, J. C. and Caldwell, P. (1983) The demographic evi- 
dence for the incidence and cause of abnormally low fertility in 
tropical Africa. World Health Statistics Quarterly 36(1): 2-34. 

Cavalli-Sforza, L. L. (ed.) (1986) Afncan Pygmies. Academic 
Press, New "Vork, USA. 



47 



Forest People 

Dietz, W. H., Manno, B., Peacock, N. R. and Bailey, R. C. 

(1989) Nutritional status of Efe pygmies and Lese horticul- 

turalists. American Jounial of Physical Anthropology 78: 509-18. 
Ehret, C. and Posnansky, M. (eds) (1982) The Archaeological atid 

Linguistic Reconstruction of African History. University of 

California Press, Berkeley, USA. 
Goodland, R. ( 1 982) Tnbal Peoples and Economic Development. 

International Bank for Reconstruction and 

Development/World Bank, Washington, DC, USA. 
Hall, J. S. (1990) Conservation Politics in Zaire - the Protection of 

Ituri Forest. Unpublished report to \X'WF, Gland, Switzerland. 
Hart, J. A. (1979) Nomadic Hunters and Village Cultivators: a 

Study of Subsistence Interdependence in the Itun Forest, Zaire. 

University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, USA. 
Hewlett, B. S., van de Koppel, J. M. H. and van de Koppel, M. 

(1986) Causes of death among Aka pygmies of the Central 

African Republic. In: Cavalli-Sforza, L. L. (ed.), loc. cit., pp. 

45-63. 
Mann, G. V., Roels, A. O., Price, O. L. and Merrill, J. M. 

( 1 962) Cardiovascular disease in African pygmies; a survey of 

health status, serum lipids and diet of pygmies in the Congo. 

Journal of Chronic Diseases 15: 341-71. 



Romaniuk, A. (1967) La Fecondite des Populations Congolaises. 

Mouton, Paris, France. 
Stanley, H. M. (1887) In Darkest Africa. London, UK. 
Stone, D. ( 1 987) WWF List of Approved Projects, Volume 4 Africa 

and Madagascar. W^V, Gland, Switzerland. 
Tumbull, C. M. (1961) The Forest People. Triad/Paladin, 

Grafton Books, London, UK. 
Voas, D. (1981) Subfertility and disruption in the Congo Basin. 

In: African Historical Demography. Centre for African Studies, 

University of Edinburgh, UK, pp. 777-802. 
Waehle, E. (1991) The Central Africa rainforest and its inhabi- 
tants are under siege. In: IWGIA Yearbook 1990. 
Wilkie, D. S. (1990) Human Settlement and Forest Composition 

iviihui the Proposed Okapi Rainforest Reserve in Northeast Zaire. 

Project Summary, WWF Project 3249. 

Authorship 

Robert Bailey of the Department of Anthropology, University of 
California, Los Angeles; Serge Bahuchet, of the Centre Nationale 
de Recherche Scientifique, Pans; Barry Hewlett, of the 
Department of Anthropology, Tulane University, New Orleans, 
and Damien Lewis, London. 



48 



6 Population, Environment 
and Agriculture 



Introduction 

A World Bank study of the linkages between rapid population growth, 
agricultural stagnation and environmental degradation in sub- 
Saharan Africa shows that these phenomena are mutually reinforc- 
ing. Rapid population growth is the principal exogenous factor which 
has stimulated the increase in environmental degradation, con- 
tributing to agricultural stagnation relative to population size. This is 
because population growth has been such that Afncans have been 
unable to adapt their traditional agricultural land-use and wood-use 
practices fast enough to respond to the pressure of more people. 

For several years there has been concern that Africa's high rate 
of population growth - now 2.9 per cent (PRB, 1990) - cannot be 
fed or employed by African economies, which are unlikely to grow 
by more than 3 or 4 per cent a year. In addition, more people 
require more land, water and fuelwood, while such resources are 
finite. On the other hand, agriculturalists and agricultural 
economists have observed that the intensification of farming occurs 
as populations grow denser. This has been found to be the case in 
many developing countries (Boserup, 1965; Binswanger and 
Pingali, 1989; Lele and Stone, 1989). Only if there is a constraint 
on land will farmers have an incentive to intensify their agricultural 
production. If land is free or very cheap, it makes more sense for 
the farmer to extend his holdings and to minimise the use of other 
inputs such as capital and labour. Under these conditions, shifting 
cultivation and nomadic or transhumant (that is, the seasonal 
movement of animals) livestock raising are sensible methods from 
the perspective of the farmer or herdsman and these have, indeed, 
predominated in most of sub-Saharan Africa. 

However, these traditional practices of shifting cultivation and 
livestock husbandry change when populations become more dense. 
This can be seen in the highlands of Kenya, the Kivu Plateau in 
eastern Zaire, in parts of Nigena and, most particularly, in Rwanda. 
In the latter country, there is now a relatively intense traditional 
agricultural system, resulting largely from the scarcity of land. In 
most of sub-Saharan Afnca land has been abundant until recently 
and in many countries this is still the case. Given this situation, it 
has been, and continues to be, very difficult to stimulate interest in 
reducing population growth. African leaders and agriculturalists 
usually consider that the priority must be to get economies grow- 
ing faster and agriculture expanding more quickly. If this can be 
done, then rapidly expanding populations can be fed and incomes 
can be increased. In most cases, African leaders have resisted 
recommendations to reduce population growth in their country. 

In summary, the traditional structure of the rural economy - its 
fanning and livestock husbandry methods, the dependency on 



wood for energy and building material, the land tenure arrange- 
ments and the burdens of rural women - worked well when pop- 
ulation densities were low and populations were growing slowly. 
However, under stress from high population growth, these tradi- 
tional practices have led to the degradation of natural resources. 
This in turn has contributed to agricultural stagnation. 

Shifting Agriculture and Pastoralism 

For centuries, shifting cultivation and transhumant pastoralism 
have been appropriate systems for people throughout most of sub- 
Saharan Africa, enabling them to derive a sustainable livelihood 
from nature. The ecological and economic systems were in equi- 
librium. The principle was that people moved on to new land when 
soil fertility declined or pasture vegetation disappeared. Land left 
fallow had its fertility reconstituted over many years through veg- 
etative growth and decay. Typically, this involved two to four year 
cultivation periods and even shorter grazing periods. Land was left 
fallow for between 10 and 20 years. Adjustments took place as and 
when they became necessary but the pace of adjustment required 
was slow. The inter-cropping practised by Rwanda's farmers was 
an early traditional adaptation which occurred when shifting was 
constrained by the high population density. 

Although new land has been opened up in response to popula- 
tion growth, land for cultivation has become increasingly scarce in 
most regions of Africa. On average, arable land has declined from 
0.5 ha per capita in 1965 to 0.3 ha m 1987, although there are con- 
siderable differences between countries. Everywhere, however, fal- 
low periods are gradually being reduced as populations expand and 
new land becomes scarce. In many countries, such as Kenya, 
Rwanda and Liberia, fallow periods are no longer sufficient to 
allow fertility to be restored. Many people are forced to remain on 
the same parcel of land where they maintain their traditional farm- 
ing methods. Shifting cultivation usually involves the annual burn- 
ing of vegetation on newly opened-up land. When farmers are 
unable to open new land, but continue the annual burning before 
cultivation, soil fertility quickly declines. In this situation fertility 
is not restored and crop yields decline. When this becomes very 
serious, people migrate to marginal farming land in semi-arid areas 
or into tropical forests and try to establish farms there. Crop yields 
in these areas are low because soils are less fertile or rainfall is less 
abundant, or both. These problems are gravest in parts of the 
Sahel, parts of mountainous East Africa and in the dry belt stretch- 
ing from the coast of Angola through Botswana, Lesotho and 
southern Mozambique. 



49 



Population, Environment and Agriculture 

Table 6.1 Food consumption, agriculture, population and the environment. A comparison of present levels and preliminary 



Agnculiiiral produciwu grotvih 
rales (per cent per annwu) 



Population growth rate 
(per cent per annum) 



Per capita calorie 
consumption per day 



Percent of population food 
insecure' 



Reforestation rates per 
annum (percent) 



Target 

1990-2020 



Targei 
75 1980-8 2020 



Target 
2010 



Target 
2020 



Target 
1990-2020 



Total 








Sitb-Saharan Africa 


2.2 


1.8 


4.0 


Sahehan Coumries 








Burkina Faso 


- 


6.4 


4.0 


Chad 


- 


2.6 


3.0 


Mall 


0.9 


0.3 


2,0 


Mauritania 


(2.1) 


1.5 


2.0 


Niger 


(2.9) 


2.8 


3.0 


Coastal U"t'.(/ AJnca 








Benin 


n.a. 


4.2 


4.0 


Cape Verde 


n.a. 


n.a. 


3.0 


Cote d'lvoire 


4.9 


1.6 


4.0 


Gambia 


4.5 


7.1 


4.5 


Ghana 


4.5 


0.5 


4.5 


Guinea 


n.a. 


n.a. 


5.0 


Guinea-Bissau 


n.a. 


5.7 


5.0 


Liberia 


6.5 


1.2 


4.0 


Nigeria 


2.8 


1.0 


4.0 


Senegal 


0.2 


3.2 


4.0 


Sierra Leone 


1.5 


1.6 


4.0 


Togo 


2.6 


4.2 


3.0 


Central Africa Forest Zone 








Angola 


0.2 


n.a. 


4.0 


Cameroon 


4.6 


2.4 


4.5 


Central African Rep. 


2.1 


2.6 


4.5 


Congo 


4.1 


2.0 


4.5 


Equatorial Guinea 


n.a. 


n.a. 


4.0 


Gabon 


n.a. 


n.a. 


4.0 


Zaire 


n.a. 


3.2 


5.0 


Northern Sudanian 








Djibouti 


n.a. 


n.a. 


3.0 


Ethiopia 


n.a. 


(1.1) 


3.0 


Somalia 


n.a. 


3.9 


3.0 


Sudan 


n.a. 


2.7 


4.0 


East Africa Alonntain and Temperate 


Zones 




Burundi 


4.7 


3! 


3.0 


Kenya 


6.2 


3.3 


4.0 


Lesotho 


n.a. 


1.8 


3.0 


Madagascar 


n.a. 


2.2 


4.0 


Malawi 


n.a. 


2.7 


4.0 


Rwanda 


n.a. 


0.3 


3.0 


Swaziland 


8.0 


3.9 


4.0 


Tanzania 


3.1 


4.0 


4.0 


Uganda 


3.6 


(0.3) 


4.5 


Zambia 


2.0 


4.1 


5.0 


Zimbabwe 


n.a. 


2.5 


4.5 


Other South East Africa 








Botswana 


12.4 


(5.9) 


2.0 


Comoros 


n.a. 


n.a. 


3.0 


Mozambique 


n.a. 


(0.8) 


4.0 


Mauritius 


n.a. 


4.0 


5.0 


Comparison 








India 


n.a. 


2.3 


- 


China 


n.a. 


6.6 


_ 



2.6 



3.2 



2092 2095 2400 



1.9 


2.6 


2.3 


2009 


2139 


2400 


1.9 


2.4 


o 2 


2399 


1717 


2200 


2.1 


2.4 


2.7 


1858 


2073 


2300 


2.2 


2.6 


2.6 


2064 


2322 


2400 


2.3 


3.5 


3.1 


1994 


2432 


2450 


2.7 


3.2 


1.9 


2009 


2184 


2400 


2.0 


2 2 


1.6 


1766 


2717 


2800 


4.1 


4.0 


2.7 


2359 


2562 


2700 


2.8 


3.3 


2.4 


2194 


2517 


2700 


2.3 


3.4 


1.9 


1950 


1759 


2400 


1.8 


2.4 


2.4 


1923 


1776 


2400 


1.1 


1.7 


1.9 


1910 


2186 


2400 


2.9 


3.2 


1.8 


2154 


2381 


2500 


2.5 


3.3 


2.1 


2185 


2149 


2400 


2.3 


3.0 


2.5 


2479 


2350 


2500 


1.9 


2.4 


2.4 


1837 


1854 


2400 


3.8 


3.5 


2.1 


2378 


2207 


2400 


2.0 


2.5 


2.5 


1897 


1880 


2400 


2.4 


3.2 


2.4 


2079 


2028 


2400 


1.5 


2.7 


1.8 


2135 


1949 


2400 


2.5 


3.5 


2.7 


2259 


2619 


2700 


1.7 


1.9 


1.6 


n.a. 


n.a. 


2400 


1.9 


3.9 


2.5 


1881 


2521 


2600 


2.3 


3.1 


2.0 


2187 


2163 


2400 


8.1 


3.0 


2.1 


n.a. 


n.a. 


2400 


2.6 


2.9 


3.0 


1824 


1749 


2200 


2.6 


3.0 


2.5 


2167 


2138 


2400 


2.5 


3.1 


1.8 


1938 


2208 


2400 


1.7 


2.8 


2.4 


2391 


2343 


2400 


3.4 


3.8 


1.9 


2289 


2060 


2400 


2.1 


2.7 


1.5 


2065 


2303 


2500 


2.3 


3.3 


1.5 


2462 


2440 


2500 


2.8 


2.8 


2.9 


2244 


2310 


2400 


3.1 


3.8 


3.0 


1665 


1830 


2300 


2.6 


3.4 


2.0 


2100 


2578 


2600 


3.2 


3.5 


2.3 


1832 


2192 


2400 


3.4 


3.2 


2.7 


2360 


2344 


2500 


3.0 


3.7 


2.6 


n.a. 


n.a. 


2400 


3.5 


3.7 


1.4 


2105 


2132 


2400 


3.1 


3.4 


1.4 


2019 


2201 


2400 


2.3 


3.6 


2.3 


2296 


2109 


2300 


2.3 


2.7 


2.3 


1979 


1595 


2200 


1.6 


1.0 


0.5 


2271 


2748 


2900 


2.3 


2.2 






2238 




2.7 


1.3 


- 


- 


2630 


- 



32 
54 
35 



18 
n.a. 
8 
19 
36 
n.a. 
n.a. 
30 
17 
21 
23 
29 



n.a. 
9 

39 
27 

n.a. 


42 





46 
50 
18 



26 
37 

n.a. 
13 
24 
24 

35 
46 
48 

n.a. 



n.a. 

n.a. 

49 

9 



10 



5 

20 
20 
10 

5 






5 

10 


5 
5 

5 
10 



5 

5 



10 




20 
15 




10 


5 

10 

10 
10 
10 




10 
10 
20 




(0.5) 



(1.7) 
(0.6) 
(0.5) 
(2.4) 
(2.6) 



(1.7) 
n.a. 
(5.2) 
(2.4) 
(0.8) 
(0.8) 
(2,7) 
(2.3) 
(2.7) 
(0.5) 
(0.3) 
(0.7) 



(0.2) 
(0.4) 
(0.2) 
(0.1) 
(0.2) 
(0.1) 
(0.2) 



n.a. 
(0.3) 
(0.1) 
(0.2) 



(2.7) 
(1,7) 

n.a. 
(1.2) 
(3.5) 
(2.3) 

0.0 
(0.3) 
(0.8) 
(0.3) 
(0.4) 



(0.1) 
n.a. 

(0.8) 
0.0 



1.5 
1.5 
1.5 
1.5 
1.5 



1.5 

1.5 
1.5 
1.5 
1.5 
1.5 
1.5 
1.5 
1.5 
1.5 
1.5 



1.0 
LO 
LO 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



n.a. 
L5 
1.5 
1.5 



1.0 
1.5 
n.a. 
1.5 
1.5 
1.5 
1.5 
1.5 
1.5 
1.5 
1.5 



1.5 
n.a. 
1.5 
1.5 



Defined as percentage who do not have actress to enough food for an active and healthy life. 

A number in brackets means deforestation. The rate is measured as the percentage of total forested area which is reforested (deforested) per annum, 
n.a , data not available 
Figures in brackets arc negative rates 



50 



0.5 0.3 6.6 8.9 



Population, Environment and Agriculture 

indicative targets for the year 2020 The crisis is most acute in countries such as Burundi, Ethiopia, 

Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Togo, which already have 

low per capita arable land and high population growth (see Table 

Per capita arable Percentage of total land Percentage ivildenias area 6.1). In these Countries, populations are already unsustainably 

land area (ha) under crops to total area large, soU degradation or desertification are advanced and agricul- 

,,- - tural productivity is stagnating or declining. Population pressure 

Minimum Mmimum ^ j c? cr c i- r 

Target Presem Target is Causing traditional farmers to intensify production, but, for the 

i'^5 1987 1987 2020 % % most part, this is occurring much too slowly. 

There are other parts of the continent in which land appears to 
be more abundant relative to population. These include Central 
Africa, humid West Africa and Southern Africa. However, much 
of the potential arable land in Central Africa and humid West 
Africa is under tropical forest. A large proportion of West Afnca's 
forests are secondary, having been logged or cut by shifting culti- 
vators in the past. Although less diverse than primary forests, these 
secondary forests still have considerable biological and economic 
value. In Central Africa, in contrast, there remain vast areas of pri- 
mary forest. To preserve biodiversity, maintain rainfall and the 
humid climate on which its agriculture is based, much of this area 
should not be cultivated. Instead, the humid forests have to be pre- 
served. Historically, this land provided poor land for cropping. 
Therefore, even in those countries where land is apparently more 
abundant, the problem of an expanding population moving to 
unsuitable land can already be observed. In many cases, it is the 
tropical forests that suffer from this expansion. 

More contentious is the observation that people may be having 
as many children as possible to provide more labour for farming 
and for water and fuelwood gathering tasks. In this way, the tradi- 
tional role of women indirectly may be helping to maintain the 
extraordinary fertility rate in sub-Saharan Africa. This rate - the 
total number of children the average woman has ii. a lifetime - is 
now about 6.6, compared to four in other developing countries. Of 
course there are many other factors which contribute to such a high 
fertility rate. Traditional male attitudes favour large families. Poor 
health services and high infant mortality also induce people to want 
large families, perhaps to ensure that some offspring remain to care 
for them in their old age. This is Africa's social security system. 
The relative importance of these various factors has not been estab- 
lished and may never be. Nevertheless, the traditional role of 
women in farming and the constraints under which they exist may 
be reducing their demand for small families. 

Traditional Land Tenure Systems 

Traditional land tenure systems provide security of tenure through 
customary rules of community land ownership and distribution of 
land to individuals within the community. As population pressures 
slowly increased, these systems appear in some cases to have 
evolved to individually managed semi-permanent holdings. 
Traditional tenure arrangements provided sufficient protection to 
farmers settling on this semi-permanent basis to persuade them to 
invest in the land. However, most African governments and most 
aid donors have mistakenly believed that community ownership of 
farm land did not provide adequate security of land tenure and that 
it discouraged farmers from investing in the land. Land markets 
were difficult to develop under traditional tenure arrangements 
and ownership was not established as collateral for credit. 

The response of many governments has been to nationalise own- 
ership of the land, with the government owning it all. They then 
allow de facto customarv' law to guide use of some land while arbi- 
trarily allocating other land to private investors, political elites and 
public projects. This has reduced land tenure security rather than 
increasing it. Investment by farmers in the land then becomes risky 
(50,™..- World Bank s.a.isncs) ^ince governments can, and do, reallocate land to ser^-e larger 

51 



0.5 


0.4 


11 


12 


3 


3 


0.9 


0.6 


3 


5 


52 


45 


0.4 


0.3 


2 


5 


49 


45 


0.2 


0.1 





1 


74 


69 


0.6 


0.5 


3 


6 


53 


45 


0.6 


0.4 


17 


19 


15 


14 


0.2 


0.1 


10 


10 








0.6 


0.3 


11 


13 


10 


10 


0.3 


0.2 


17 


23 








0.3 


0.2 


12 


15 








0.4 


0.2 


6 


8 








0.5 


0.4 


12 


14 








0.3 


0.2 


4 


9 


17 


17 


0.5 


0.3 


34 


34 


'> 


2 


0.1 


0.8 


27 


29 


11 


11 


0.6 


0.5 


25 


25 








0.7 


0.4 


26 


27 








0.6 


0.4 


3 


5 


26 


24 


1.0 


0.6 


15 


17 


3 


3 


1.0 


0.7 


3 


7 


39 


32 


0.6 


0.3 


1 


5 


42 


37 


0.8 


0.6 


8 


10 








0.4 


0.4 


2 


5 


35 


30 


0.3 


0.2 


3 


5 


6 


6 


n.a. 


n.a. 


n.a. 


n.a. 








0.5 


0.3 


13 


17 


22 


18 


0.3 


0.2 


1 


2 


24 


22 


0.9 


0.5 


5 


9 


40 


35 


0.3 


0.3 


52 


52 








0.2 


0.1 


4 


4 


25 


25 


0.4 


0.2 


11 


11 


80 


75 


0.4 


0.3 


5 


10 


2 


2 


0.5 


0.3 


25 


28 


10 


8 


0.2 


0.2 


45 


45 








0.4 


0.2 


10 


10 








0.3 


0.2 


6 


10 


10 


10 


0.6 


0.4 


34 


34 


4 


4 


1.3 


0.7 


7 


11 


24 


20 


0.5 


0.3 


7 


10 








1.9 


1.2 


2 


4 


63 


58 


0.4 


0.2 


44 


44 


n.a. 


n.a. 


0.3 


0.2 


4 


7 


9 


9 


0.1 


0.1 


58 


58 


n.a. 


n.a. 


0.3 


0.2 


57 


_ 


. 


_ 


0.6 


0.4 


11 


- 


- 


- 



Population, Environment and Agriculture 

national purposes. Combined with this government intervention 
has been a slow breakdown in customarv' law, including that affect- 
ing land rights. In many cases, these two factors have caused cus- 
tomary land tenure management to break down entirely and an 
'open access' form of tenure occurs in which settlement by anyone 
is permitted. Open access to forest and pasture areas results in 
rapid environmental destruction that is akin to the 'tragedy of the 
commons' (Noronha, 1985; Magrath, 1989). Each individual has 
an incentive to exploit the land and the resources on it as quickly 
as possible, moving on when the resources are mined and the land 
more or less unusable. 

A second type of response, shown by governments such as those 
of Kenya, Zimbabwe and Cote d'lvoire, has been to distribute indi- 
vidual land titles to address the problem of open access and the 
perceived deficiencies of traditional land tenure systems. However, 
land titlmg has permitted the political and economic elite, who 
maintain control of the title distribution mechanism, to grab land 
from traditional owners. Land distribution becomes more skewed 
as a result. The wealthy few own much land, while the millions of 
poor have little or none. 

^X'here traditional land tenure systems are allowed to function 
unmolested, they appear to evolve with population pressure. In 
particular, they appear to give more individual proprietorship over 
time. However, this evolution has been slow. Partly because it has 
been slow, governments have felt compelled to intervene as indi- 
cated above. With population pressure, migration and breakdown 
in respect for customary law, the law regulating land rights is 
increasingly unable to ensure tenure security. Open access and its 
destructive consequences occur when traditional land tenure sys- 
tems break down as well as when governments claim ownership. 

Traditional Fuelwood Gathering 

The heavy dependency on wood for fuel and building material has 
combined with population growth to contribute to the increasing 
rate of forest and woodland destruction. This is exacerbated by 
destructive commercial logging practices and the inadequacy of forest 
management. Wood has been treated as a free resource, taken largely 
from land to which everyone has the nght of access. In many coun- 
tries, because fuelwood can generally be collected free, a market has 
not developed for it despite its increasing scarcity. Even when 
extreme shortage of fuelwood has resulted in a market, the price has 
been lower than social value requires because most supplies come 
from open access forests. Altemadve energy supplies, such as oil, are 
costly as they are not available in open access areas and are not free 
for the taking by individuals. Despite dwindling supplies of wood, 
other fuels are not substituted in significant quantities. Increasing 
destruction of the forests and woodlands accelerates soil degrada- 
tion and this negatively affects agriculture. The environmental 
destruction also results in the loss of plant and animal diversity. 

Other Factors 

Some of the most obvious constraints on agricultural development 
include civil wars, adverse policies such as poor price/exchange rate 
and tax policy, lack of rural infrastructure, falling international 
prices (true of most of Africa's agricultural exports), lack of private 
investment in agricultural marketing and processing and poor agri- 
cultural research and extension (see World Bank, 1989). By 
preventing significant gains in agricultural productivity, these fac- 
tors compel growing populations, as a survival strategy, to exploit 
ever more extensively the natural resources available to them. The 
predominance of shifting cultivation, of traditional farming meth- 
ods, the separation of farming into male and female occupations 
and fuelwood dependency will continue in these circumstances. 



Population Growth 

Agricultural stagnation and environmental degradation are prob- 
ably inhibiting the demographic transition to lower fertility rates 
because they inhibit economic development which is the motor for 
this transition. The extraordinarily high fertility rate which charac- 
terises Africa is the result of many factors (Cain, 1984; Cochrane 
and Farid, 1989; Caldwell and Caldwell, 1990). The basic prob- 
lem is low demand for smaller families. Childbearing enhances the 
status of both men and women in African societies. Many Africans 
define themselves spiritually through their ancestors. Having 
children who will, in turn, revere them, is part of this process. In 
addition, there is some evidence that the desire for large families is 
economically inspired. Often, women farmers can only add more 
children as a way of assisting with farming, wood gathering and water 
fetching. In some traditional land tenure systems, the amount of land 
provided for a family by the clan chief is a function of family size or 
family labour. This also stimulates demand for larger families. High 
infant monality rates in this situation encourage people to have more 
children, to assure that some remain alive. Finally, poor education 
systems, especially for young women, do not prepare young Africans 
to make knowledgeable decisions about family planning. 

Synthesis 

Traditional practices and systems evolve over time. However, in 
Africa, fanning and land management techniques and fuelwood gath- 
ering have not adapted to the incredibly rapid rate of population 
growth. The result is agricultural stagnation and environmental 
degradation. Table 6. 1 provides a quantitative assessment of what 
has transpired. Since 1965, agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa has 
grown at about 2 per cent per annum. Population has grown at about 
2.8 per cent per annum. More recently, in the 1980s, agricultural 
growth declined slightly from the long term average, while annual 
population growth increased to 3.2 per cent. Scrutiny of the table 
reveals that per capita calorie consumption has stagnated at very low 
levels and that a large number of Africans ( 1 00 million) are food inse- 
cure. The food gap (consumption minus production) which is filled by 

As ivood becotitt's scarce people, usually ivoiiieii and children, have to 
travel further to collect it. Here a young girl is canying firewood on 
Anjouan, Cotnoros. 1. Thorpe 




52 



Population, Environment and Agriculture 




/)( Dwsi oJAfnca, as here in Madagascar, a vast propaniou of the population are under 1 5 years old. 1 he rapid population groivth is placing 
increasing demands on resources in the region. C. Harcourt 



food aid and impons, or by some people going without, is increasing 
rapidly. These are the outcomes of the phenomena described above. 

Sub-Saharan Africa's forest cover of about 6,600,000 sq. km is disap- 
peanng at the rate of 32,000 sq. km per annum. The rate of destruction is 
increasing with time. Fuelwood consumption is increasing at about the 
rate of population growth. Tliere are vast areas of soil erosion and up to 
80 per cent of Africa's pastures show signs of degradation. Significant 
declines in rainfall are being recorded in many countries and, although 
unproven, this is believed to be related to forest and vegetation destruc- 
tion. This is having a serious impact on crops and on water availability. 

Solutions 

The outside world's response to these problems is not obvious. Land 
titiing to resolve the land tenure issue has not worked well where it has 
been tried in Africa. The introduction of modem agricultural tech- 
nology in the form of high yield seeds, fertilisers and farm mechanisation 
has met stiff resistance from farmers. Population control programmes, 
based on the supply of family planning services and the distribution of 
contraceptives, have not been very successful except in three or four 
African countries. Soil conservation and forestry protection projects 
have not had much success either. New approaches are needed. 

For each African country. Table 6.1 provides targets for desir- 
able and achievable population growth rates, food consumption, 
agricultural growth and environmental protection (i.e. protected 
areas). For Africa as a whole the objective should be to reduce 
annual population growth to about 2.2 per cent by the year 2020. 
(Note that the expected impact of AIDS on population growth has 
been incorporated in the projections. See case study.) Agricultural 
production must grow at about 4 per cent per annum during the 
period 1990 to 2020 (World Bank, 1989). Per capita daily calorie 
consumption should increase from its present level of 2 1 00 to 2400 
calories by the year 2010. The percentage of the population who are 
food insecure should drop from 25 per cent to 10 per cent by the 
year 2020. The annual reafforestation rate should increase from its 
present negative 0.5 per cent to a positive 1 per cent. Cropped land 
should increase from only 6.6 per cent of Africa's total land area to 
8.9 per cent. This would permit the maintenance of approximately 



25 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa's total land area under extensively 
used natural vegetation, compared to about 27 per cent today. 

There are of course enormous country variations in what is 
attainable. Targets must be adjusted to each countrv''s circum- 
stances and potential. Nevertheless, the targets are extremely 
ambitious. However, the solutions suggested below build on 
the advantages obtainable from reduced population growth, 
environmental protection and expanded agricultural production. 
In panicular, with expanding agricultural output and higher 
incomes, population growth rates are likely to fall more quickly. 
With agricultural intensification and falling population growth 
rates, environmental protection becomes more feasible. 

Reduce population growth The key change is to focus on increasing 
demand for smaller families rather than emphasising only the supply 
of family planning services and contraceptives, though that supply 
must follow demand. To alter the demanded family size, education 
is required and this must be directed at both men and women. 
However, a focus on young women may have the greatest payoff since 
they are relatively neglected in education programmes while it is their 
decisions regarding childbeanng which are the most important. 
Improving women's education, providing health services and providing 
fiscal incentives for small families are all means to increase the demand 
for them. Community groups, stores and pharmacies should all be 
mobilised in this effort. The present investment in population 
programmes needs to be multiplied by at least a factor of five. Govern- 
ments alone will not be adequate. Non-governmental organisations 
(NGOs) and the private sector must also be brought in. Successful 
efforts to intensify' agriculture, reduce women's work burdens and 
stabilise land tenure will also, in the long run, stimulate demand for 
smaller families. Increased economic growth uill have the same effect. 

Promote sustainable agriculture Farm productivity per unit area must 
be increased to permit greater output with little increased farming 
area. However, this increased productivity must be obtained with 
minimum destruction of the environment. There are numerous 
environmentally benign agricultural technologies which have been 



53 



Population, Environment and Agriculture 



HIV AND AIDS 

By I May 1991, the number of acquired immune deficiency syn- 
drome (AIDS) cases reported to the World Health Organisation 
(WHO) from Africa amounted to 90,646 (WHO, 1991a). WHO 
estimates that there are, in early 1 99 1, almost six million people 
in Africa who are infected by human immunodeficiency virus 
(HIV), most of whom will die over the next five to ten years. So far, 
the pandemic of HIV has been confined to cities in most of Africa. 
Indeed, in some major urban centres, between one-quarter and 
one-third of all men and women aged between 1 5 and 49 have 
been infected and AIDS deaths may reduce expected population 
growth by more than 30 per cent (WHO, 1991b). In addition, 
recent repons have shown an alarming increase in HIV infection 
in rural areas. The pandemic of AIDS affects mainly the people 
in their prime productive and reproductive ages (20-49). In 
Africa, the pattern of HIV infection cewers both men and women 
and, increasingly, children. It is estimated that one in forty adult 
men and women in sub-Saharan Africa are infected with HIV 
(WHO, 1990). Since 1987 the main focus of infection has been 
in East and Central Africa, but there has recently been a marked 
increase in cases in West Africa as well (WHO, 1991b). 

With the considerable uncertainty about the behavioural and 
biological determinants of AIDS, future prospects of this dis- 
ease and its impact on mortality in Africa can be examined only 
through simulation models. Bongaarts and Way (1989) simu- 
lated the mortality implications of AIDS in Africa. By approx- 
imating the trends in Uganda, they provide 'high' and 'low' 



prevalence scenarios for Africa by the year 2000. They estimate 
that the prevalence of this disease is likely to double in 25 years. 

Their projections are as follows; 

Projections HIV Seroprevalence Aids death rate 



(Year 2000) 

High 
Low 



(per cent of adults) 

21.0 
2.7 



(per 1000) 

12.0 
1.5 



In the case of 'high' levels, the mortality due to AIDS would 
exceed mortality due to 'all other causes' of death in Africa. 
However, even then the growth rate of the population would be 
positive, albeit greatly reduced. It is extremely difficult to assess 
the possible role of this factor for the future population of Africa 
or of any specific country. Much depends on behavioural changes 
that might curtail the spread of HIV, and on breakthroughs in the 
development of a vaccine or any other form of treatment. 

What impact would the spread of AIDS have on forest resources? 
Under the existing conditions of greater spread of AIDS in cities, 
the trend of urbanisation may decline with more people remaining 
in rural areas. In such a case, the pressure to find new areas for cul- 
tivation would persist. However, if rural areas also begin to be 
affected substantially by this pandemic, the pressure on the use of 
forest resources is expected to decline. This is perhaps more likely, 
for the young adults who might venture into forests in search of new 
areas for cultivation are also the pnme victims of the disease. 



developed experimentally on a small scale in sub-Saharan Africa. 
Examples include contour farming to prevent soil erosion, 
mulching, minimum tillage, intensive fallowing, crop rotations 
which assure constant vegetation cover, terracing and 
embankments, integration of livestock and cropping to maintain 
soil fertility, agroforestry, integrated pest management and water 
harvesting. Small scale irrigation has enormous potential in some 
countries. Behind each of these projects lies a considerable body 
of agricultural knowledge which as yet finds little application in 
Africa outside a few NGO projects. These technologies need to be 
mastered by national agricultural research and extension systems 
which should adapt them and introduce them more widely to 
African farmers. The various African national and international 
(but working within Africa) agricultural research establishments 
must develop and test such technologies. The knowledge must then 
be developed and communicated to farmers on a wide scale. This 
will require greatly improved research and extension services. 

Farmers, however, have not demanded the new methods. The 
reason is that there has been little incentive for individual farmers 
to introduce such technology in place of traditional agriculture. As 
Boserup (1965) suggested, as long as there is free land to open up, 
labour and capital investment in more intensive agriculture is likely 
to make little sense from the farmers' perspective. Land tenure 
reform may be the most important factor. 

Agricultural intensification on a wide scale, therefore, requires 
not only better research and extension, but also policies which 
induce farmers to remain in one place and intensify production. 
The first such policy must be the protection of forest and pasture 
areas from cultivation, which requires the creation of parks, 
reserves and community owned pasture land, as well as avoiding 
infrastructure investment in forest and pasture areas as this encour- 
ages settlement. Intensive farming must also be profitable. In the 



short term, subsidies for farm inputs needed for the introduction 
of intensive sustainable agricultural techniques may be necessary 
while shifting cultivation is taxed (World Bank, 1989). For exam- 
ple, land tenure reform might be financed by governments. Soil 
conservation efforts, research and extension efforts to introduce 
the sustainable agriculture technologies might be fully financed by 
governments. What these measures do is to create an artificial 
scarcity of cropped land while increasing the profitability of inten- 
sification, hence creating a demand by the farmers for intensifica- 
tion. 

However, these sustainable technologies are unlikely to be suf- 
ficient to permit most African countries to achieve agricultural 
growth rates of 4 per cent. Improved crop varieties, fertiliser and 
farm mechanisation technologies will still be necessary. These are 
perfectly consistent with agricultural intensification. In some cases 
they may be environmentally damaging, so some trade-off with 
environmental protection will be necessary. In addition, new crop 
land will inevitably be opened up by an expanding agricultural pop- 
ulation. It would be unrealistic and unnecessary to eliminate this 
completely. Some opening of new crop land will, in fact, be nec- 
essary to achieve the ambitious 4 per cent per annum agricultural 
growth target. 

Land lemirc security Given the failures of the past, providing 
improved land tenure security to encourage farmers to stay in one 
place and invest in that land will be difficult. Where traditional land 
tenure systems are evolving to provide greater individual 
ownership, these systems should be protected by law. Governments 
should hand over state-owned farm, pasture and forest land to 
traditional owners, who should be given clear responsibility for 
conservation and protection. Land tenure reform on a massive scale 
is urgently required to eliminate 'open access' systems. 



54 



Population, Environment and Agriculture 



Women 's time constraint Research, extension, infrastructure and 
education initiatives are required to reduce women's time 
constraints. This can be accomplished through the widespread 
introduction of fuel efficient stoves, energy substitutes for domestic 
fuelwood, easier access to water by investment in domestic water 
supplies, the introduction of improved crop husbandry and better 
agricultural hand tools to w-omen farmers, and the availability of 
credit and land to women as an incentive for production. These 
interventions will make women's farming less environmentally 
destructive, discourage shifting cultivation and increase food 
production, while reducing the incentive for women to have large 
families as help from children will no longer be essential. 

Fuekvood Large scale investments in fuelwood plantations and tree 
farming will be needed. These investments will have to be 
undertaken by individuals, especially farmers, as well as schools, 
community groups and private enterprises. It must be financially 
worthwhile to grow and sell fuelwood and poles for building. As 
populations grow, trees are felled and fuelwood becomes scarcer, 
thereby creating a market value for the wood. However, this market 
is developing too slowly. Development will accelerate if cutting in 
protected forest areas is restncted. Marketing of farm fuelwood 
should not be restricted, licensed or taxed; nurseries should be 
established to grow and distribute appropriate species; government 
research and extension services should incorporate tree farming as 
a major theme and land tenure reform should provide ownership 
of forests to farmers who are then more likely to invest in the forest 
rather than simply mine it for fuelwood. There is need for more 
efficient wood and charcoal stoves (to reduce demand for wood 
per person) which can be made and sold by local artisans. 

Natural Resource Management and Environmental Protection 

It is clear that environmental protection and management is now 
necessary in every country throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The core 
of the actions needed, as identified above, is to develop sustainable 
agriculture, stimulate demand for smaller families, provide land 
tenure reform, address women's constraints and invest in fuelwood. 



However, these actions are not sufficient to arrest environmental 
destruction. Institutional and human capacity' must be developed to 
manage protected areas, and land-use evaluation will be necessary' 
to identify new areas to be protected. Local communities should be 
allowed to continue traditional use of resources inside protected 
areas and to collect revenue from their use. Policies regulating and 
taxing logging should be developed and governments must be capable 
of implementing these policies, but revenue from logging should be 
panly redirected to the forest communities. Agriculture and social 
developments can be provided outside protected areas to attract 
settlement of people there. Legal frameworks must be established to 
permit this. Community organisations which manage natural 
resources must be allowed to evolve autonomously without govern- 
ment management. Other elements of environmental action plans will 
include watershed protection, establishment of industrial wood plan- 
tations to take the pressure off natural forests, management of off- 
shore and lake fishenes to avoid over-exploitation, prevention of coastal 
erosion, control of water pollution and environmental monitoring. 

Conclusions 

There are important linkages between agricultural production, 
population growth and environmental protection. Protection of 
the environment is needed for the long-term growth of agriculture 
and the economy but will be very hard to achieve if present rates 
of population increase continue. Population growth is unlikely to 
decline unless agriculture, and the economies dependent on agri- 
culture, grow. Agriculture, in turn, is increasingly constrained by 
rapid population growth. 

Aid donors and governments need to undertake planning and 
analysis in a more multi-sectoral context. Agricultural sector work 
and sector planning, in isolation from population planning and 
environmental policy, do not make sense. However, greater focus 
on the issues raised here should not suggest that the more tradi- 
tional issues such as agricultural policy, better governance and the 
creation and dissemination of improved agricultural technology 
are not important. The issues interact in a very complex manner 
and it is important to understand and act upon this. 



References 

Binswanger, H. and Pingali, D. (1989) The Evohmon of Fanning 

Systems and Agricultural Technology m Siib-Saharan Africa. 

Discussion Paper 23, Agriculture and Rural Development 

Department, Worid Bank, Washington, DC, USA. 
Bongaarts, J. and Way, P. (1989) Geographic Variation in the HIV 

Epidemic and the Mortality Impact of AIDS in Africa. Proceedings 

of the International Population Conference. New Delhi, India. 
Boserup, E. (1965) The Conditions of Agricultural Groivth: The 

Economics of Agrarian Change under Population Pressure. George 

Allen and Unwin Ltd, London, UK. 
Cain, M. (1984) Women's Status and Fertility in Developing 

Countries. Worid Bank Staff Working Papers No. 682. Worid 

Bank, Washington, DC, USA. 
Caldwell, J. and Caldwell, P. ( 1 990) High Fertility in Sub-Saharan 

Africa. Scientific American 262(5): 82-9. 
Cochrane, S. and Farid, S. (1989) Fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa: 

Analysis and Explanation . Worid Bank Discussion Papers No. 43. 

Worid Bank, Washington, DC, USA. 
Lele, U. and Stone, S. (1989) Population Pressure, the Environment 

andAgncultural Intensification: I 'anations on the Boserup Hypothesis. 

Discussion Paper, World Bank, Washington, DC, USA. 
Magratii, W. ( 1 989) The Challenge of the Commons: The Allocation 

of Nonexclusive Resources. Environment Department Working 



Paper No. 14, Worid Bank, Washington, DC, USA. 
Noronha, R. ( 1 985) A Rei'iezv of the Literature on Land Tenure Systems 

in Suh-Saharan Afnca. Discussion Paper 43, Agriculture and Rural 

Development Department, World Bank, Washington, DC, USA. 
PRB ( 1 990) 1990 World Population Data Sheet. Population Reference 

Bureau, Inc. Washington, DC, USA. 
WHO (1990) Update: AIDS Cases Reported to Surveillance, 

Forecasting and Impact Assessment Unit (SFI) of Global Programme on 

AIDS. 1 August 1990. Worid Healdi Organisation, Geneva, 

Switzerland. 
WHO (1991a) Update: AIDS Cases Reported to Surveillance, 

Forecasting and Impact Assessment Unit (SFI) of Global Programme on 

AIDS. 1 May 1991. Worid Healtii Organisation, Geneva, 

Switzerland. 
WHO (1991b) The Global HIV/AIDS Situation. In Point of Fact 

No. 74. World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland. 
World Bank ( 1 989) Sub-Saharan Afnca: From Crisis to Sustainable 

Gnnvth. Worid Bank, Washington, DC, USA. 

Authorship 

Kevin Cleaver, World Bank, Washington, DC with contributions 
from Gotz Schreiber, World Bank, Washington, DC and Per Ryden, 
lUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 



7 Timber Trade 



Introduction 

Southeast Asia currently dominates the world's international trop- 
ical timber trade. However, tropical timber harvesting has a much 
longer historv' in Africa. As early as 1672, having obtained its first 
chaner from the English monarch Charles II, the Royal African 
Company was trading in West African mahogany (Khaya and 
Ematidrophragtna spp.). By the early 18th century, imports which 
had previously emanated from the Caribbean were being replaced 
by those from the coastal forests of French West Africa and Gambia. 
In 1823, for example, shipbuilders in Liverpool in the UK were 
importing African oak, known in the trade as iroko (Alilicia excelsa). 
By the 1 880s, the British were exporting African mahoganies from 
the Gold Coast (present day Ghana) and Nigeria to Europe. 

With the advent of European colonialism at the end of the 19th 
century, the trade received an imponant boost. Latham (1957) 
describes Miller Bros - a British firm, which originally dealt in West 
Indian exports - establishmg itself m the 1890s m Benin City in 
Nigeria to ship mahogany to Liverpool. By the end of the 1 9th cen- 
tury British export houses in the Gold Coast and the Niger delta 
operated forest concessions instead of simply buying up logs from 
native producers, and both British and French interests harvested 
ebony {Diospyros spp.) in French West Africa. Many hitherto 
unknown species came on stream at the turn of the century, for 
instance, okoume (Aucouiiica klahieaiia), makore {Tiegheinella 
spp.) and, to a lesser extent, utile {Eiitandwphrtigiiia uttle). 
European tropical timber imports rose significantly during this 
period. In France, for instance, they increased from 9000 tonnes 
in 1890 to 110,000 tonnes in 1913. 

After 1945 the tropical timber trade evolved rapidly, partly facil- 
itated by increased mechanisation of logging operations. Once a 
relatively minor import for specialist purposes, tropical timber 
became a major source of utility grade lumber, controlled princi- 
pally by European interests (Nectoux and Dudley, 1987). 
Although a larger range of timbers began to be imponed into 
Europe, the trade still concentrated on a few well-known species, 
including African mahoganies, obeche (Triplochilon scleroxylon) 
and okoume. Between 1950 and 1960, African tropical hardwoods 
became increasingly important to the European timber trade. The 
proximity of European markets was a key factor, but also the tim- 
bers had superior technical properties and were cheap and fash- 
ionable. In addition, African timber became available at a time 
when hardwoods were in short supply in some European countries. 

By 1 962, nearly 30 per cent of European tropical timber imports 
came from West Africa. But by 1984 this percentage had shrunk 
by half due to the opening up m 1965 of forests in Indonesia and 
East Malaysia where more homogeneous stands of desirable tree 
species yield four to five times more timber per unit area than those 
in West Africa. A lack of investment in Africa, due to the absence 



of a strong domestic private sector, was also a factor. In addition, 
with little domestic processing infrastructure, Africa was less able 
to take advantage of new techniques for producing plywood, fibre- 
board and other manufactured products. 

Today, the export trade in African timbers still involves mainly 
West and Central African countries. A loose distinction can be 
drawn between countries whose forests have already been 
exploited for timber (or over-exploited, as in the case of Nigeria 
which became a net timber importer m the 1 970s), and those with 
large areas of undisturbed forest, such as central Zaire. Gabon is 
a major exporter and, although its coastal forests have been heav- 
ily logged, it is still 85 per cent forested (see chapter 19). 

Whether or not a country's forests are exploited depends more 
upon forest accessibility, proximity to ports and timber quality, 
than on specific government forestry policies. In Zaire, the Zaire 
River and its tributaries provide a relatively easy means of moving 
timber to Kinshasa, but thereafter it must be transported overland 
to the ports at Matadi and Boma if it is to be shipped overseas. 
Timber harvesting to date has thus been quite limited. In Gabon, 
which until 1980 possessed only 100 km of paved roads, exploita- 
tion was concentrated in the coastal zone, but the opening of the 
trans-Gabonese railway has allowed logging to take place over 
extensive areas of the interior forests in recent years. 

East African trade in wood products is of little significance 
globally. However, special purpose timbers such as African black- 
woods (for example, Dalbergia melanoxylon, which is used for 
making musical instruments) are exploited from drier forest types. 
Exports are of only marginal significance to both the countries of 
origin and the recipients. 

Species in Trade 

Export shipments of African logs were initially restricted to cabinet 
woods such as sapele Entandrophragina cylindricum, sipo or utile, the 
mahoganies (for example, Khaya ivorensis) and iroko. Qualities 
sought by early traders included dimensional stability, decorative 
figure and ease of working. European markets were looking for alter- 
natives to depleted supplies of West Indian mahogany (Szviclema 
spp.), oak or teak Tcctonia grandis. After the Second NX'orld War the 
list expanded to include white woods of relatively low density such 
as obeche, the terminalias and opepe Nauclea diderricbii. 

Regional variation in species extraction is not uncommon. For 
instance, Ceiba pentandra, a low quality veneer timber, is exploited 
in the coastal zone of Cote d'lvoire, but not inland since transport 
costs would render its cutting unprofitable (Poore, 1989). 
Generally, remote forests are exploited more selectively. Although 
more diverse in terms of timber characteristics than the timbers 
coming from the Far East, the number of African species traded 



56 



Timber Trade 



has been, and continues to be, small considering the number and 
variety of species found in African rain forests. Only 15 or so 
African timber species are well established in European markets. 

For most countries, one to three well-established species 
account for 50-80 per cent of the total log volume harvested and 
have done so since commercial logging began. In French 
Equatorial Africa okoume was the principal species shipped from 
present day Gabon and limba Tenninalia superba was exported 
from present day Congo. Limba was the only species exported 
from the Belgian Congo (now Zaire) until the 1 950s. In Zaire, gedu 
nohor Entandrophragma angolense is now one of the principal 
species exploited for timber (UICN, 1 990a). Today in Cameroon, 
70 per cent of timber production is accounted for by about 15 
species, out of a possible 300 usable species. In 1989 in Ghana, 
obeche accounted for 56.6 per cent of log exports and 41.8 per 
cent of lumber exports. In Liberia, although over 40 species are 
e.xported, five make up 63 per cent of production. Between 1986 
and 1987, one species alone, niangon Hentiera iililis accounted for 
45 per cent of total production. In Congo about 50 species are used 
m trade when more than 300 are potentially marketable. 

International statistics on the volumes of individual species 
shipped by destination are notoriously unreliable. Of the five major 
species imported into Europe, okoume has a clear market advan- 
tage in France (imported in large quantities from Gabon), Greece 
and the Netherlands. Obeche is imported in large quantities by 
Germany (mainly from Ghana). Both species are imported for the 
manufacture of plywood. Okoume is favoured for face veneer and 
obeche for the core. The other species are used for both sawnwood 
and veneer. Niangon, principally from Liberia, is preferred for inter- 
nal joinery work in France. Liberia is also the sole producer of gola 
TelraberUma tubmaniana exported particularly to Turkey for use in 
plywood. The Netherlands is responsible for significant trade in 
azobe Lophira alata. This species accounts for almost 80 per cent of 
the total tropical log imports of the country. A heavy, durable wood, 
imported mainly from Cameroon, it is used in sea defence works, an 
example of a species being imported for a specialist use. 

The Timber Committee of UNECE/FAO has compiled a table 
(Table 7.1) showing percentages of total impons by several 
European countries: France, Italy, Federal Republic of Germany, 
Spain, Greece and Netherlands. 



Table 7.1 Sawnwood imports to Europe declared from tropical 
Africa by trade name 



cent of total 


impons 


Trade name 


15-20 




Obeche 


10-15 




Sapele and Utile 


5-10 




Iroko, Makore and Mahogany 


2-5 




Afrormosia, Agba, Azobe and 
Framire 


1-2 




Afzelia, Afara, Niangon, Tiama, 
Guarea and Tchitola 


<1 




Okoume, Bete, Ilomba, Abura, 




Antiaris, Fromager, Kosipo, 
African walnut and Ozigo 



(Saum: UNECE/FAO, 1990) 



This tree is being Jelled zvilhm a logging concession in Tano-Ehuro 
Forest Reserve in Ghana. The company involved, African Timber 
and Plyivood (Ghana) Ltd, is developing a programme for 
sustainable logging in this and other areas of Ghana. P. Chambers 

To protect their timber industries, some tropical governments 
have introduced log export bans for selected species. Ghana 
announced recently that in addition to imposing expon levies, from 
January 1994 it will curtail and eventually ban exports of unpro- 
cessed timber. Levies applied to, among others, afrormosia, utile 
and makore are designed to ensure sustainability and encourage 
value-added production of timber products in Ghana, although the 
action may be too late for afrormosia which has an estimated com- 
mercial resource life of two to three years. 

Lesser-known species 

Log export bans combined with tax incentives have been used to 
try and stimulate the interest of loggers in what are termed lesser- 
known species. So far. Cote d'lvoire, assisted by the French 
Technical Centre for Tropical Forestry (CTFT) has tried the 
hardest to increase exports of these species. Efforts in this direc- 
tion are also now being made by Liberia and Cameroon. 

In 1979, 53 percent of Cote d'lvoire's timber exports (1.47 mil- 
lion cu. m) comprised 25 lesser-known species not exported before 
1973. The harvesting of a greater range of species enables more 
efficient use to be made of logging infrastructures but it results in 
more severe disturbance of the forest. It can also lead to pressure 
to re-enter logged coupes, resulting in poor regeneration of more 



57 



Timber Trade 



valuable species and non-reco%'en' of the forest after the first cut. 
Improved operational management is therefore crucial if lesser- 
known species are to be promoted on a significant scale. In gen- 
eral, there has been little development in the use of lesser-known 
species of African tropical hardwoods. Consumers tend to buy 
wh^t is stocked and individually have little influence upon source, 
species or grade. 

Forest Policies and Economics 

African governments tend to treat their countries' forests simply as 
a source of revenue and foreign currency. They may have little alter- 
native given their high external debts. Declining prices of other export 
commodities, particularly oil, cacao and coffee have recently exacer- 
bated the situation. In 1988, for example, Ghana needed almost 60 
per cent of its export earnings to service its debts. Yet African gov- 
ernments have often failed to obtain a reasonable percentage of the 
financial benefits accruing from timber harvests; cenainly not enough 
to offset the ecological, economic and social costs of logging. Most 
profits have gone instead to loggers and timber traders. 

Under well regulated management the forests of the Central 
African countries could produce high sustainable yields of timber. 
However, this will be possible only if forest seri'ices are greatly 
strengthened and the infrastructure of the forested regions, es- 
pecially roads, railways and ports, is improved. Expanding timber 
production without meeting these prerequisites will be a recipe for 
an anarchic timber industry with large windfall profits for a few indi- 
viduals and major resource depletion for the country. Cameroon has 
a production target of 4 million cu. m by the year 2000 and 
5 million cu. m by 2010 (Gartlan, 1989), Congo one of 2 million 
cu. m by 2000 (UICN, 1990). Zaire at one stage discussed a target 
of 6 million cu. m by the year 2000. 

It is difficult to judge who really profits from the timber indus- 
try. The term 'rent' is used by economists for the difference 
between the price obtained for a product and its total production 
costs. Repetto (1988) calculated the rents for different categories 
of timber in a number of African countries at various times in their 
recent history (Table 7.2). A rational allocation of these rents 
would allow a reasonable profit to the loggers and traders with the 
balance being retained by the government to invest in development 
or to compensate for the external costs resulting from logging. In 
reality most of the rents are kept by the loggers. The latter argue 
that poor infrastructures, corruption and politically inspired dis- 
ruption of their operations cause them to incur costs which do not 
appear in the abstract calculations of economists. 

Table 7.2 gives some indication of the high rents available to 
loggers in Africa during the 1970s. The figures for Cote d'lvoire 
are especially interesting since the high rents were in spite of export 
taxes which ranged from 25 per cent to 45 per cent of the value of 
the timber. Now, with the more valuable forest resources deple- 
ted, rents and thus profits per cubic metre in Cote d'lvoire arc 
much lower than those of countries which still hold large forest 
reserves. 

The contributions made by the forest-based sector to different 
countries' economies vary considerably, as a brief look at Cote 
d'lvoire, Gabon and Ghana shows. (For a full account, see 
Repetto, 1988; Repetto and Gillis, 1989.) In Cote d'lvoire, up 
until 1981, value added in the forest sector was steady at about 6 
per cent of GDP. In 1973, logs and wood product exports were 
worth 35 per cent of total export earnings; but this figure fell to 
only 1 1 per cent in 1 980 due to a rapidly declining timber resource. 
Until 1984, forest products were the third main source of export 
revenue, a place now occupied by petroleum. In 1980, more than 
5 million cu. m of industrial roundwood were extracted, but this 



Table 7.2 Theoretically available profits in the 1970s from log 
harvesting (US$ per cu. m) 



Highest 



Middle 
Valued Species 



Loiuest 



1979 








Liberia 


98 


41 




1973 








Liberia 


89 


58 


25 


Cote d'lvoire 


47 


31 


17 


Gabon 


89 


54 


22 


Cameroon 








(a) Douala 


61 


32 


14 


(b) Pointe Noire* 


52 


23 


7 


Congo 








(a) South 


81 


52 


23 


(b) North 


69 


42 


13 


1971-2 








Ghana 


79 


28 




* Exports via Puinte Noire 


, Congo. 






[S.vircc: Rcpclto, ] Q88) 









had dropped to about 3 million cu. m by 1988 (FAO, 1990 and 
see Figure 7.1). Meanwhile, tax incentives favour continued log- 
ging and further reduce government income from the forestry sec- 
tor. French logging companies, which are not taxed by the French 
government for income earned abroad, have been favoured by 
these incentives which appear to run counter to the long-term 
interests of Cote d'lvoire itself. 

In Gabon, as late as 1963, the forest sector accounted for 80 per 
cent of exports, thereafter ceding its place to oil and uranium. It 
remains a major source of employment - 28 per cent of the labour 
force works in logging and wood processing activities - although it 
brings in only 1-2 per cent of government revenues. In the mid- 
1970s, Gabon's rent capture policies were among the weakest in 
Africa. Even now, timber is only lighdy taxed; export taxes are 20 
per cent of export prices for logs and 12 per cent for sawn timber 
and other processed products. These are among the lowest timber 
taxes in the tropical world. Even lower rates apply for some species 
and concession fees are also low. As in Cote d'lvoire, tax exemp- 
tions and tax holidays further reduce forest income potential for 
the government. 

For Ghana, between 1974 and 1984, the forest sector con- 
tributed between 4.9 per cent and 6.2 per cent to the country's 
GDP. Although GDP overall declined, the forest sector's contri- 
bution to it remained constant. Estimates for the years preceding 
1971 suggest that rents ranged from 26 per cent to 80 per cent of 
the value of log output. However, the Ghanaian government cap- 
tured only 38 per cent of the timber rent available. Before 1965, 
timber exports provided up to 20 per cent of total export earnings, 
but this declined drastically thereafter to 13 per cent in 1972 and 
4 per cent in 1 980. Recent moves to stamp out corrupt trade prac- 
tices aim to increase government revenues from timber harvesting. 

One of the problems with forest fees in Africa is that they are 
highly complex. A 1988 IIED study of a Central African country, 
revealed that 5 3 procedures must be followed before a log can be 
exported (IIED, 1988). This sort of bureaucracy results in exces- 
sive paperwork and delays and encourages evasion. As a result, fees 
are forfeited by governments. In addition, because procedures for 
raising forest fees are cumbersome, often requiring new legislation, 



58 



Timber Trade 



the temptation for governments is to leave them as they are, with 
the result that inflation reduces their value in real terms. Moreover, 
forest fees are often collected only partially or not at all. The task 
generally falls within the remit of the Ministry of Finance, but lack 
of incentives means that under-collection is common. The World 
Bank has estimated that in Congo only about one-fifth of volume- 
based forest revenue was collected and that in Ghana, the govern- 
ment was receiving a mere sixth of what was due to it in forest fees. 
It suggests that until the forestry departments of West and Central 
African countries can be strengthened, a simpler system of forest 
fees which places greater emphasis on concession fees, would be 
more efficient. For example, an annual concession fee, set by com- 
petitive bidding, could become the major source of revenue. 

The weakness of forest departments is a major problem. Salaries 
are so low that employees are easily tempted to accept bribes for 
approving logging plans they have not even seen, or for accepting 
volume return forms filled out by company scalers without verify- 
ing them. Logs may be underscaled, underreported or misclassi- 
fied. Transfer pricing is widely practised; logs or finished products 
are sold supposedly at one price, while the buyer in the importing 
country actually pays a higher price, the difference frequently being 
paid into the exporter's foreign bank account. The African gov- 
ernment therefore loses out on export taxes. In Gabon, although 
standing timber sales are provided for in the legislation, the forestry 
department is unable to mark the trees or control cutting, and so 
the system has not been implemented. 

Corruption plays a part at government level too. In Zaire the 
government introduced new regulations in 1 985 in a bid to increase 
value-added income. Exporters must now obtain licences to oper- 
ate concessions and these are supposed to be given only to appli- 
cants with established or intended processing capacity and are 
thereafter subject to quotas. There has, however, been only lim- 
ited success in applying the regulations and political interference 
with applications for export licences is said to be rife. 

It is essential that tropical governments secure maximum revenue 
from the harvesting of their timber resources. Proper pncing policies 
which reflect the full value of forest products can encourage efficient 
forest management and conservation. Without effective pricing, the 
revenue to finance the management and protection of forests is not 
generated and so they are exploited rather than managed. Countries 
such as Congo and Zaire which still possess large untouched forest 
areas could benefit enormously from a substantial overhaul of the 
management and economics of timber harvesting. 

Figure 7.1 Production of industrial roundwood in Cote d'lvoire 

1 977-88 (ionrav FAO, 1990) 



6000 



5000 



•g- 4000- 



3000 



Vx 







1976 1978 19 



1982 19 
Year 



1986 1988 1990 



In recent years the volume of timber exported from much of 
Africa, even from regions with abundant timber resources, has 
declined. Many timber companies are closing down and some have 
gone bankrupt. This does not accord well with the view that huge 
profits are to be made from logging. The situation is highly com- 
plex. It may be true that large gains have been made at certain peri- 
ods in the past and this may have encouraged some inefficiency in 
the industry. But in the depressed economic conditions of the late 
1980s and early 1990s the timber industry is finding it difficult to 
survive, it feels its future is threatened and is disinclined to invest. 
A vicious circle ensues with the result that African countries are 
deprived of the benefit of a resource which could do much to fuel 
their economies. A consequence of this present insecurity is that 
many of the old established companies are leaving Africa. These 
companies have considerable expertise in forestry, provide employ- 
ment to many Africans and in many cases have made a valuable 
contribution to economic and social development of the societies 
in which they have worked for many decades. The responsible 
companies are being replaced by speculators whose only interest 
is in reaping maximum profits for as long as the resources last, but 
who make no long-term commitment to the countries where they 
operate. Africa still has immensely valuable forest resources but 
in very few countries is there a solid base for the rational and 
sustainable development of these resources. 

Domestic Processing and Value Added 

Many industrialised countries, notably those of the EC, Japan, 
Korea, Taiwan and the USA, have erected trade barriers against 
processed wood products in order to protect their own wood pro- 
cessing industries (Nectoux and Kuroda, 1988). To counteract 
these, producer countries have sometimes banned log expons, 
reduced or eliminated taxes on processed wood exports and offered 
incentives to domestic forest product industries (Repetto, 1988). 

Ghana has done all three of these and by 1982 had 95 sawmills, 
ten veneer and plywood plants and 30 wood-processing plants. 
However, log export bans were not enforced and removing export 
taxes for sawn logs meant little in the light of the country's cur- 
rency overvaluation. In 1987, wood exports still consisted of 60 
per cent logs and only 30 per cent sawn timber. Similarly, although 
subsidised credit for local investment in sawmills and plymills and 
income tax incentives for investment in processing plants had the 
desired impact - by the late 1 960s there was substantial investment 
- wood-processing industries operated inefficiently. 

In Liberia value added from timber processing has been a rising 
percentage of GDP since 1973. In 1977 two policies were intro- 
duced to promote forest-based industrialisation: a big increase in 
the Industrialisation Incentive Fee (IIF) for log exports and enact- 
ment of a Forest Products Fee (FPF) for sawnwood exports. The 
IIF is applied to all exported logs, ranging from US$2-4 for low- 
value species, to USS75 for high-value species. The FPF similarly 
differentiates between species and favours domestic processing. 

These measures can be counterproductive if the domestic indus- 
try is inefficient. For instance, in Cameroon 3 cu. m of raw logs 
are used to produce 1 cu. m of sawnwood, equivalent in export 
value to only 2 cu. m of logs. In Cote d'lvoire timber concession- 
aires have erected plymills in order to qualify for log export quo- 
tas. They also trade the quotas among themselves. However, their 
conversion ratios are often as low as 40 per cent, and because ad 
valorem plywood export taxes are only 1-2 per cent, as opposed to 
the 25-45 per cent imposed on logs, the government forfeits a con- 
siderable amount of revenue. Exports of processed wood from 
Cameroon remain low in comparison with expons of unprocessed 
logs (Figure 7.2). 



59 



Timber Trade 



Timber Species 

The following is a list of the most common tree species in the 
African timber trade, with their trade names, Latin names and 
distnbution. 

Ahura/ Mhragyna ciliala — found mainly in West Africa from 
Sierra Leone to the Congo region and Angola. 
Afara or limha/ Tenninalia superba — widely distributed from 
Sierra Leone to Angola and Zaire. 

African blackwood/Dalbergia melanoxyton — an extensive range 
in savanna regions from Sudan southward to Mozambique, 
westward to Angola, and then northward to Nigeria and 
Senegal. 

African ebony/ Diospyws spp.~ found in Equatorial West Africa. 
African mahogany/ Khaya grandifalio/a, K. senegalensis, K. 
ivorensis and A', antlwtlieca — found in tropical West Africa from 
the Guinea Coast to Cameroon and extending eastward 
through the Congo basin to Uganda and parts of Sudan. The 
name mahogany is commonly used for a range of dark red tim- 
ber from various species of Meliaceae in the genera K/iaya and 
Enlandwp/iragma . 

African walnut or lovoa or tigerwood/Z,ot'oa tncliUundes — found 
in tropical West Africa, from Sierra Leone to Gabon. 
Afrormosia/Pen'copsw elata syn. Afrormosia elata — found in 
West Africa, but mainly in Ghana and Cote d'lvoire. 
MzeWa/Afze/ia spp.— found in West, Central and East Africa. 
Agba/Gossweilerodt'iidron ha/samtfenim — found in tropical West 
Africa, from Nigeria southwards to the Congo Basin. 
Anuarh/ Annans spp.— found in West, Central and East Africa. 
Azobe or ekki/Lop/?/ra alata— found in West Africa and extend- 
ing into the Congo Basin. 

Bete/ Matjsonia ahissima — found from Cote d'lvoire to 
Cameroon. 

Ceiba or silk-cotton-tree/Ct'z7>a pciitandra — also known as fro- 
mager, enia, odouma, etc. Widely distributed in West Africa. 
Gedu nohor/ Enrandrop/iragma angolciise — also known as tiama, 
kalungi, etc. From West, Central and East Africa. 
Go\a/ Teiraberliina tuhmaniana— found in Liberia. 



Gaarea/ Guarea cedrata and G. t/w»ipsoiiti — the range of both 
species overlaps in Cote d'lvoire, Ghana and southern Nigeria. 
The former reaches into Cameroon, the latter into Liberia. 
Idigbo/Teniiinalia ivorcnsis — also known as, for example, 
framire in Cote d'lvoire, and emeri in Ghana. Found in tropi- 
cal West Africa from Guinea to Cameroon. 
Uon\ba/Pyaianthus aiigolemis — found in West Africa. 
Iroko/Afi'/icia excelsa and Chloropliora regia — also known as 
odoum, oroko, kambala, etc. The two species between them 
extend across the entire width of tropical Africa. 
Kosipo or i\po/Entandrophragina candoUci— found in West 
Africa to Angola and the Congo region. 

Limba or a(ara/ Tennmaha superba — widely distributed from 
Sierra Leone to Angola and Zaire. 

Makove/Tiegfiemel/a heckelii and T. africana — both species are 
found from Sierra Leone to Cameroon, Gabon and south to 
Cabinda. 

Niangon/f/t'n'r/fra uii/is and H. densiflora — found in West 
Africa from Sierra Leone to Ghana {H. ulilis), Cameroon and 
Gabon (//. densiflora). 

Obeche/ Tnplochilon scleroxylon — widely distributed in tropica! 
West Africa from Guinea to Cameroon. 

O'koume/ Aucoumea klaineayia — distribution confined to 
Gabon, Rio Muni and Congo-Brazzaville. 
Opepe/Nauc/ea didemelni syn. Sareocephalus didemclui— widely 
distributed from Sierra Leone to the Congo region and east- 
ward to Uganda. 

Ozigo or adjouaba/Dutii'oA's spp.— found in West Africa. 
Sape\dEn!andropliragtna cylindricwn — distribution ranges 
from Cote d'lvoire to Cameroon and eastward through Zaire to 
Uganda. 

Tchitola/0.vv,';;/^)Hu oxyp/iyllwn — occurs in tropical West 
Africa from Nigeria to Gabon and the Congo region. 
XJlWdEnlandropliragma iiiile — known as sipo in Cote d'lvoire; 
occurs principally in West and Central Africa. 

Somrtv Chudnoff, 1984 



Figure 7.2 Exports of processed and unprocessed wood from Figure 7.3 Exports of processed and unprocessed wood from 
Cameroon 1977-88 (Soiirce.- fao, 19? 




T I 1 i 1 r 

1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 
Yeor 



Gabon 1977- 


88 








(Source: FAO, 1 990) 


2000 - 




R 






D unprocessed 
• processed 


"e 


[ 


^ \ 




n 




Exported (1 000 cu 

1 




\ 


S^ 


cH=n/ 


^ 


f 

C3 




► — »--_ 




.• — • — • — • — 









1 


I 


1 1 


1 1 1 


1976 


1978 


1980 


1982 1984 
Year 


1986 1988 1990 



60 



Timber Trade 




Sawmills like this one at Akim Oda in the eastern region of Ghana are found throughout the forest zone of the country. Wood is cut for export, 
for furniture, plywood and veneers. I. and D. Gordon 



Gabon has so far instituted neither log expon quotas nor bans. 
The government stipulates that concessionaires with contract areas 
exceeding 150 sq. km deliver 55 per cent of their harvest to the 
local timber-processing industry. However, the high percentage of 
unprocessed logs that are exponed suggests that this policy is not 
rigorously enforced. Gabonese mills are not efficient enough to 
compete in world markets. As recently as 1984, 89 per cent of 
Gabonese timber exports were in log form (see Figure 7.3). 

Potentially, African countries could increase revenue from their 
timber resources if they were to make a successful transition to pro- 
ducing more value-added products such as furniture or building 
parts. Many are interested in doing so. Problems will lie in the 
region's lack of kiln dr>'ing and preservation capacity, and the 
absence of the technical and management skills needed to produce 
more complex products. Additionally, individual countries will 



have to conduct their own promotion aimed at architects, builders, 
furniture makers and DIY outlets in order to raise the profile of and 
demand for their products. They will also need to assure a steady 
supply of timber with which to fuel these value-added industries. 

It is possible to improve trade between the exporters and importers. 
For instance, in 1988 Ghana held a Timber Products Show in 
London, with the aim of stimulating business between Ghanaian and 
British wood manufacturing companies. A year later the UK Upton 
Grey Agency reported deliveries of mahogany furniture blanks to a 
London furniture agency and plans further shipments worth £20 mil- 
lion annually. Upton Grey attributes the breakthrough to having its 
own staff on the factory floor in Ghana to advise on quality control and 
tooling ( Tropical Timber Trades Journal, various issues) . Industrialised 
countries could assist such efforts by reducing import duties for value- 
added timber products exponed from developing countries. 



References 

Chudnoff, M. (1984) Tropical Timbers of the World. United States 

Department of Agnculture, Washington, DC, USA. 
FAO (1990) FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 1977-1988. FAO 

Forestry Series No. 23 and FAO Statistics Series No. 90. FAO, 

Rome, Italy. 
Gartlan, S. (1989) La Conservation des Ecosystemes forestiers du 

Cameroim. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 
IIED (1988) Zaire Forest Policy Review: Summary Report. IIED, 

Washington, DC, USA. 
Latham, B. (1957) Timber: Its Development and Distribution - A 

Historical Survey. Harrap and Co, London, UK. 
Nectoux, F. and Dudley, N. (1987) A Hardiuood Story, Europe's 

Involvement in the Tropical Timber Trade. Friends of the Eartli, 

London, UK. 
Nectoux, F. and Kuroda, Y. (1988) Timber from the South Seas: 

An Analysis of Japan 's Tropical Timber Trade and Its Environmental 

Impact. WWF International, Gland, Switzerland. 
Poore, D. (ed.) (1989) No Timber Without Trees. IIED/ 

Earthscan, London, UK. 



Repetto,R (1988) The Forest for the Trees: Government Policies and the Misuse 

of Forest Resources. World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, USA. 
Repetto, R. and Gillis, M, (eds) ( 1 989) Public Policies and the Misuse 

of Forest Resources. Cambridge University Press, New York and 

Cambridge, UK. 
Tropical Timber Trades Journal, Volumes 1-5. 
UICN (1990a) La Conservation des Ecosystemes forestiers du Zaire. 

Base sur le travail de Charles Doumemnge lUCN, Gland, Suisse 

et Cambridge, Royaume-Uni 242pp 
UICN (1990b) La Conservation des Ecosystemes forestiers du Congo. 

Base sur le travail de Philippe Hecketsweiler lUCN, Gland, Suisse 

et Cambridge, Royaume-Uni 1 87pp. 
UNECE/FAO ( 1 990) Study of the Trade and Markets for Tropteal Hardzooods 

in Europe. Report by UNECE/FAO Agriculmre and Timber for ITTO. 

Authorship 

Jacqueline Sawyer, lUCN, Gland, Switzerland with contributions 
from H. Stoll, Bremen, Germany, Chris Elliot, WWF- 
Intemational, Gland, Switzerland and Peter Burgess, Suffolk, UK. 



61 



8 Forest Management 



Introduction 

Why is natural forest management for timber considered so impor- 
tant? Surprisingly, the most significant contributions of moist 
forests to the African national economies, are the non-industrial 
goods and benefits derived from trees and forests, rather than the 
timber. These include the best upland soils, a variety of foods 
including bushmeat (often accounting for a major share of the ani- 
mal protein intake of the rural population), fuelwood and charcoal, 
framing, panelling and thatching materials for rural houses, agri- 
cultural and household implements and a host of environmental 
and other benefits (FAO, 1989). Hardly any tropical timber is in 
reality supplied by managed natural forest in Africa at the moment. 
Rather, the timber derives from forests which are being logged 
without a management plan, or are being converted to another use 
in either a planned or an unplanned manner. 

However, the latter sources of timber are expected to decline 
dramatically. In West African countries nearly all moist forest has 
already been logged over at least once; in Central African coun- 
tries there are still unlogged forests in remote areas, but accessible 
forests have been cut over several times. As timber exploitation in 
many of the remote forest areas is economically unattractive 
because of transport costs, tropical timber will in the future be 
derived from managed natural forest, or from managed secondary 
regrowth, agroforestry and plantations (Grainger, 1987), or most 
probably, from a combination of both. 

Natural forest management for sustained timber production can 
be wholly or largely compatible with soil and water conservation, 
with production of most non-timber forest products and, to a cer- 
tain extent, with nature conservation, depending on the intensity 
of management practised. This is especially important in the light 
of serious concerns about the environmental consequences of 
deforestation and forest degradation for the agricultural viability 
of adjacent lands. In Ghana, Cote d'lvoire and Liberia, fears exist 
that the Sahel will spread south and the Harmattan winds pene- 
trate further, leading to a decrease in dry-season humidity that 
would devastate crops such as cacao. As much land as possible 
must be kept under forest to avoid this. Natural forests managed 
for timber could be major components of this forest estate. 

History 

The first forest management proposals for Africa were drawn up by 
Biisgen and Jentsch in 1 908-9 for the then German colonies of 
Cameroon and Togo. They established a number of forest reserves 
and conducted many scientific investigations in the primary forests. 
In the rest of tropical Africa, the origins of forestry activity date back 
to 1920-30 in British West Africa, 1930 in the Cote d'lvoire and 
around 1953 in Liberia (Lamprecht, 1989). Early attempts to 
involve loggers in silviculture failed both in Nigeria (1906) and in 
francophone Africa (Philip, 1986a, cited in FAO, 1989). 



The traditionally very selective timber exploitation in African 
forests does not favour regeneration and growth of the commer- 
cial species, most of which are reasonably fast-growing, so-called 
'gap opportunist' or 'non-pioneer light-demanding' species. 
Although able to germinate and survive in the shade to varying 
extents, they need substantial light in order to grow up to the main 
canopy (e.g. Hawthorne, 1989). Most silvicultural systems have 
concentrated on providing the right light conditions both for 
recruitment and regeneration of these species. 

Thinning operations are widely practised today but natural 
regeneration itself has not yet been mastered. Uncertainty as to the 
effectiveness of silvicultural treatments remains because even 
management systems with a long research history, such as the 
tropical shelterwood system, have not yet gone through a full 
rotation (60-90 years). 

Silviculturalists in Nigeria and Cote d'lvoire experimented with 
natural regeneration and line planting for much of the first half of 
the 20th century. Many other African forestry departments tried 
to take up the challenge of silviculture in moist forest beginning in 
the 1950s (FAO, 1989). Natural forest management was practised 
in Nigeria (Tropical Shelterwood System (TSS), 2000 sq. km); 
Ghana (TSS, hundreds of sq. km and various selection systems, 
310 sq. km); Uganda (selection systems later converted to uniform 
systems on several hundred sq. km); Gabon (stand improvement, 
1300 sq. km), and Cote d'lvoire ('Amelioration des Peuplements 
Naturels', 500 sq. km). (See the case study on African silvicultural 
systems.) Such systems have, however, been progressively aban- 
doned in favour of plantations (see the case study, Natural forest 
management or plantations?) except in Ghana where at least some 
of the prescribed management activities are still being carried out 
in some forest reserves. 

There have been some promising recent initiatives in forest man- 
agement. In 1976, an important programme for the study of moist 
forest development relative to different silvicultural interventions 
was set up in Cote d'lvoire by the Societe Ivoirienne de 
Developpement des Plantations Forestieres (SODEFOR) with the 
technical support of the French Technical Centre for Tropical 
Forestry (CTF~r). The significance of this project (see case study 
overleaf), compared to previous experiments, was that it allowed 
accurate measurement of the impact of silvicultural operations. 

Present Status of Forest Management 

In Africa most of the forested land is nominally under government 
control. Good forest management depends, therefore, on the effec- 
tive implementation of appropriate government policies. But, 
although many countries have committed themselves to sustained- 
yield policies in their forest legislation, little of this commitment 
can be traced in forest department programmes. African govern- 



62 



Forest Management 



African Silvicultural Systems 

Tropical Shellerwood System (TSSJ l"'his system was designed in 
Nigeria on the basis of tests which had been earned out for 20 
years. The objective was to enhance the natural regeneration of 
valuable species before exploitation by gradually opening up the 
canopy (poisoning undesirable trees, cutting climbers) to obtain 
at least 1 00 one metre high seedlings per hectare over five years. 
The forest thus worked was logged in the sixth year; then 
cleaning and thinning operations were carried out over 1 5 years. 

The Nigerian Forestry Department treated 2000 sq. km of 
forest in this way between 1944 and 1966, when the method 
was given up. The main problems encountered were the exu- 
berant spreading of climbers following the opening of the 
canopy and the failure of the seedlings of valuable species to 
grow adequately. 

Some Ghanaian foresters claim that TSS needs to be re-eval- 
uated in the light of increased marketability of timber species, 
as too much emphasis was placed on African mahoganies in pre- 
vious evaluations. Indeed, stands treated under the shelterwood 
system in Bobiri Forest Reserve in Ghana, show impressive 
stocking and growth rates of timbers such as Piptadeniastnini 
afncaniini, Tnplochilon scleroxylon and Tennmalia ivorensis. 

In 1950, the Forestry Department of Cote d'lvoire gave up 
line planting for the Amelioration des Peuplements Naturels 
(APN), a TSS-related technique. This was done both because 
initial results of the TSS in Nigeria seemed appealing and 
because increasing domestic timber consumption required a 
geographic dispersal of activities and widening of the range of 
species regenerated. The APN method was applied from 1950 
to 1960 on large areas of forests which had been logged-over 
and were well-stocked with valuable trees. The aim was to 



favour the growth of these stems and also to ensure regenera- 
tion through natural seeding of the valuable species by remov- 
ing climbers and opening up the canopy. It was abandoned in 
1960 when results were judged to be unsatisfactory. 
Selection systems Various systems have been applied in Ghana 
since 1960. Their objective is to assure regeneration of forests well- 
stocked with valuable species. Harvesting was meant to occur 
about every 25 years, after the Forestry Department had marked 
the stand to retain some well-distributed seed trees. However, in 
1970 the felling cycle was reduced temporarily to 15 years in 
response to public allegations that overmature timber was going 
to waste in Ghana's forest. This relatively shon rotation has been 
found to cause considerable felling damage. Regeneration has 
been poor and less valuable shade-tolerant species dominate 
because of insufficient opening up of the canopy. Plans now exist 
to re-establish a longer harvesting cycle of around 30 years. 
'liiipwveincm of stand dynamics ' This system was used in Gabon 
in forests rich in okoume, a vigorous 'pioneer' species able to 
recolonise savanna areas in the absence of fire and accounting for 
most of the country's timber exports. Its objective is to acceler- 
ate the growth of all-sized stems of valuable species in naturally 
well-stocked stands, without trying to provoke regeneration 
through natural seeding. The species grow in patches or clumps 
presumably due to natural seeding of forest trees in clearings or 
gaps. The objective was to let these stands attain commercial 
diameters as quickly as possible through thinning operations, but 
the production gain was never measured. After treating about 
1200 sq. km of forest, including about 120 sq. km of pure 
okoume stands, the Forestry Department gave up the technique 
in 1962 and switched to plantations. 



ments consider agriculture to be more important than forestry. 
Forests are treated as convertible rather than renewable resources. 
As a consequence, forest legislation is not applied and forest pro- 
tection not enforced (see chapter 7). Moist forest cover in the six 
African ITTO member countries (excluding Zaire which joined 
ITTO during the preparation of this Atlas) that account for more 
than 90 per cent of African timber exports, is estimated at 674,000 
sq. km. However, only 69,000 sq. km have been reserved as per- 
manent timber production and watershed protection forests, and 
of this only 40,000 sq. km are actually forested. 

The control of logging is equally problematic. In moist forests in 
Africa, heterogeneity and low commercial timber volume effectively 
preclude the use of systems which depend upon regeneration from 
seedlings; future timber harvests depend, therefore, on advance 
growth of commercial species left undamaged after logging. However, 
measures to limit felling damage, such as directional felling and mark- 
ing of residuals, are not required in most of the present concession 
agreements. Even when they are required the lack of enforcement does 
not encourage compliance by the loggers. One consequence of 
exhausting a forest concession and moving on to a new concession, 
has been that the infrastructure - including such items of primary 
importance as schools and medical dispensaries - established during 
logging operations are left to deteriorate and the people lose their jobs. 

In spite of these problems, many forests exploited for timber are 
not being degraded. This is especially true in areas where there is 
little settlement, where the topography is not too incised so that 
there are few erosion problems with roads and log landings and 
where the market is so distant as to allow exploitation of only the 
highest value species. 



Natural Forest Management or Plantations? 

Various forest management systems practised up to 1960 have 
since been largely abandoned in favour of plantations. 
Plantations have performed quite well as a source of industrial 
timber in a number of cases. With the best African timber 
species on good sites, a mean annual increment of 8 cu. m per 
ha may be expected at the age of 30— 45 years; but the high estab- 
lishment cost of USS 1000-3000 per ha renders the profitability 
of such undertakings arguable, especially if the value of the nat- 
ural forest that has been cleared to make room for plantations is 
counted as a cost. Profits are further eroded because thinnings 
are unsaleable in most countries, as secondary bush provides 
low-cost alternatives for the supply of poles and ftielwood. 

Plantations are high-risk investments, not only because of 
pest and disease problems such as the Hypsipyla spp. borers 
which attack most Meliaceae plantations, but also because of 
disconnnuity of maintenance caused by a lack of funds. Thus, 
valuable and expensive plantations in Gabon, Liberia and 
Cameroon have largely gone untended due to cuts in the bud- 
gets of forestry departments. 

Managed natural forest does not require such continuous or high 
investment. Indeed, investments in the natural forest are usually 
compounded over longer periods (Schmidt, 1987). The economics 
of management of natural forest would improve even further if a 
wider range of narural-forest species could be marketed, and if rev- 
enues could be derived from non-timber products and services 
(Pearce, 1990). 



63 



Forest Management 



A Promising Project in Cote d'Ivoire 

The Societe de Developpement des Plantations Forestieres 
(SODEFOR) and French Centre Technique Forestier Tropical 
(CTFT) pilot project in Cote d'Ivoire covers 1 20 sq. km at three 
field stations charactenstic of three ecological areas of moist forests. 
Silvicultural practices have consisted of traditional exploitation of 
economic species and thinning of residual stands by poison 
girdling. Two thinning regimes modelled on experience gained in 
Peninsular Malaysia were tested. TTiese involved the removal of 
either 30 or 45 per cent of the total basal area, beginning with the 
felling of the tallest trees in the residual forest until the desired per- 
centage of basal area was reached. The objective of the thinning 
was to favour valuable trees of greater than 10 cm dbh (diameter 
at breast height). No measures to favour regeneration through nat- 
ural seeding are envisaged. Preliminary investigations seem to indi- 
cate that the induced natural regeneration is adequate. 

After four years, for the 73 species measured there was a vol- 
ume increase for the stems over 10 cm dbh of 3.0 to 3.5 cu. m 
per ha per year against 2 cu. m in the control stands, a gain in 
growth of 50 to 75 per cent. Measurements taken every year 
showed that the annual volume gain increases with time and 



that the impact of the thinning operations will probably be felt 
for at least ten years. The largest yearly diameter increases, aver- 
aging 1 .0 cm per year, were found in species such as Triplochiton 
scleroxyloii, Tcnninalia supcrba and Heriiicra titilis. 

The economics of the operation are promising, with 1 cu. m 
produced for every USS5.6 invested, as compared with USS7.4 
per cu. m for plantation-grown timber. If a wider range of species 
from the natural forest can be introduced in local markets, the 
economics of the operation would improve. The 1 00 sq. km Yapo 
forest is being managed expenmentally on the basis of the results 
of this research project (Schmidt, 1987). Plans are now advanced 
to extend this management to a further 5000 sq. km of forest 
through a series of joint ventures with the private industnal 
sector. In addition, another 3000 sq. km will be managed directly 
by SODEFOR with assistance from aid agencies. Advocates of 
the scheme acknowledge that the forests will not be completely 
natural but their future may be more secure than that of forested 
national parks. The latter are often not seen by local people as 
yielding any tangible benefits, except to foreign tourists, and are 
consequendy threatened by encroachment and poaching. 



Indirect Conservation Impact of Forest Harvesting 

One of the most economically valuable substances produced by 
rain forests is the relatively fertile soil which they are instrumental 
in regenerating. These soils are exploited by shifting cultivation 
which is by far the most widespread type of land use in the forest. 
In large parts of the region, it is also the agricultural practice most 
adapted to local circumstances of low population density and 
therefore relative abundance of forested lands. The virtual absence 
of agricultural inputs and the prevalence of soils which are unsuit- 
able for permanent cropping make shifting agriculture a rational 
option for African farmers. 

However there are important differences in farming practices 
between native shifting cultivators and migrant slash-and-burn 
cultivators. The former use methods that involve selective felling, 
light burning and no tillage and they retain a variety of fallow and 
high forest trees (Kahn, 1982;deRouw, 1987). For instance in the 
south-west of Cote d'Ivoire, smallholders successfully cultivate 
food crops in swiddens in association with more permanent tree 
crops of coffee and cacao in a rain forest environment. In contrast, 
the slash-and-burn cultivation practised by migrants from savanna 
regions is much more destructive. It involves clear felling, excess- 
ive burning and soil tillage. 

Wilkie (1988) provides a similar picture of indigenous shifting 
cultivators in the Congo basin, who prefer to clear 1 5-20 year old 
secondary forest rather than primary forest. The forest growing in 
these patches is composed of softwoods such as the parasol tree 
Musanga cecwpioides, which can be fairly easily felled and cleared 
with simple tools. Cassava cuttings and plantain sprouts are 
planted directly after slashing; two months later, a controlled bum 
during which the soil stays remarkably moist and cool, is carried 
out. This allows the cassava and plantain to survive and makes opti- 
mum use of the wood ash fertiliser. After the remaining debris is 
cut, piled into mounds and burnt, other crops such as peanuts, 
squash, corn and sugarcane are planted. This mimics natural veg- 
etation succession and quickly covers the soil. Such procedures, 
which used to be dismissed as primitive and wasteful, have now 
been recognised as local adaptations to rainfall intensity, soil ero- 
sion risks and soil nutrient deficiencies which cannot be solved by 



applications of organic fertiliser. Indeed, scientists now legitimise 
these practices by giving them labels such as 'minimum tillage' and 
'intercropping' (Richards, 1985). 

The slash-and-burn practices of migrant farmers, on the con- 
trary, often provoke severe forest degradation in relatively short 
periods of time. For example, in the less populated western part of 
Kivu province in Zaire the construction of a new road, in combi- 
nation with the establishment of a coffee plantation, led to the loss 
of about eight additional hectares of forest to extensive slash- 
and-burn foodcropping for every hectare of coffee planted 
(GTZ/IZCN, 1986). This pattern of deforestation, involving 
labour-intensive cash crop development accompanied by land- 
extensive slash-and-burn foodcropping seems to have played an 
imponant role in other forest areas in Africa: for instance, in the 
cacao regions of Cameroon, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire. 

The single greatest threat to the rain forests of Africa is the pro- 
liferation of destructive slash-and-burn agriculture by migrant 
populations. This is frequently associated with the opening-up of 
new forest areas by logging. 

Hunting is also closely associated with logging. The prolifera- 
tion of modem hunting equipment, such as guns and powerful 
lights, and the emergence of important urban and sometimes even 
export markets for bushmeat, has exacerbated this problem. The 
flourishing bushmeat trade is an important economic factor in 
attracting people into the forest. A timber worker can make more 
money by poaching a chimpanzee Pan troglodytes in Zaire than he 
can from two months" hard work with a logging company. As soon 
as a new road is opened up, hunters use it in search of new game 
unaccustomed to man and thereby easier to kill with inaccurate 
home-made guns. 

The question whether or not selective felling is compatible with 
wildlife conservation is often rendered academic by the uncon- 
trolled hunting that logging roads almost always facilitate (Shelton, 
1985, cited in Skorupa, 1988). Even in areas where logging has not 
been widespread, hunters have eliminated larger primates from 
tropical forests (Terborgh, 1986b, cited in Skorupa, 1988). 
Logging roads greatly increase the threat of hunting to animal pop- 
ulations. The hunting taboos that were traditionally respected by 



64 



Forest Management 



the pygmies and other forest peoples, especially in the case of rare 
animals thought to be endowed with supernatural powers, such as 
okapi Okapia johnstojii (but see case studies in chapters 5 and 32), 
chimpanzee and some duikers Cephalophus spp., are now gradu- 
ally being abandoned in the face of increasing commercialisation 
and the need for money to purchase consumer goods. 

As a consequence of the low intensity of logging in Africa, conflicts 
with local people are limited. The widespread animosity between log- 
gers and forest dwellers in Southeast Asia, where people see their 
livelihoods threatened by the environmental consequences of intensive 
logging operations, does not exist in Africa. On the contrary, inter- 
actions may be quite positive, with loggers providing employment, 
farm-to-market roads, schools and dispensaries. The problem is that, 
in the absence of any forest management, the logger is bound to move 
on some day, leaving the infrastructure he created to deteriorate. 

Localised problems do occur; for instance, in the south of 
Cameroon concessionaires have been prevented from logging 
moabi Bmllonetla toxisperma, by a violent reaction from the local 
population who use the seeds of this species for cooking oil. 
Another case is the refusal of loggers involved in salvage fellings in 
cacao areas in Ghana to pay proper compensation to farmers. Little 
is known about the impact of logging on forest-dwellers such as 
the pygmies and other tribes living in Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, 
Central African Republic and Zaire, but colonisation of the forest 
by Bantu communities attracted by logging infrastructure disrupts 
locally adapted lifestyles and cultures. 

In Africa, many tree species, including most of the commer- 
cially important timbers, are much more wide-ranging than in 
Southeast Asia and Latin America. Furthermore, many stems of 
commercial species are left standing during selective logging oper- 
ations, because of apparent defects, low diameter (minimum 
exploitable diameters in African concession agreements are higher 
than in Southeast Asia and Latin America) and difficult topogra- 
phy. In consequence, no commercial timber species are thought to 
be in danger of extinction through logging. However, some well- 
known species are threatened by a combination of logging and for- 
est conversion in parts of their geographic range. These include 
Entandrophragma angolense, Gossweilerodendron hahainifenim, 
Irvingia gaboiiensis, Milicia excelsa, Nesogordonia papavenfera and 
Pencopsis elala (FAO, 1986). 

The direct impact of logging on animal populations gives more 
reason for concern in countries where few totally protected areas 
have been established in the rain forest, for example, Congo, Cote 
d'lvoire, Gabon and Liberia. Results of the fairly extensive research 
on the impact of logging on wildlife conservation done in Southeast 
Asia, suggest that, provided pockets of untouched forest are left in 
the exploited area, logged forest will be colonised by most species of 
birds and mammals within a few years of logging (Wilson and 
Wilson, 1975; Johns, 1985).Thisisalsolikely to apply to the African 
situation where logging intensity is lower (but see the case study on 
the Kibale Forest in chapter 31). The conservation value of logged 
forests will be much greater in situations where systems of totally 
protected areas are located within the production forest estate. 

There seems to be considerable potential for conserving animals 
such as primates in logged African forests providing hunting and agn- 
cultural encroachment can be controlled. However, current stan- 
dards of practice in mechanised logging operations are rarely high 
enough to guarantee compatibility of timber exploitation and wildlife 
conservation (Skorupa, 1 988). Although these standards could some- 
times be improved by using different machinery, such as wheeled 
instead of tracked skidders, operator performance is generally the 
more important variable, and both training and other incentives are 
necessary to improve the latter Qonsson and Lindgren, 1990). 



For primate conservation, overall logging damage seems to be 
more imponant than specific variables such as the density of fig 
trees remaining. Damage should therefore be minimised by prac- 
tices such as directional felling, and, perhaps, climber cutting 
(Sayer ei al., 1990). However, lianas are often important sources 
of food for arboreal vertebrates, and many of them may be key 
resources for wildlife, due to their aseasonal phenology and rela- 
tively high abundance in regions with distinct dry seasons. As a 
consequence, the indiscriminate application of pre-harvest climber 
cutting, a silvicultural practice intended to reduce felling damage 
and post-logging competition with residuals of commercial 
species, might be extremely harmful to wildlife (Skorupa, 1988). 

Selective logging poses a threat to Africa's lowland rain forest 
birds (Diamond, 1985). Conservation of the most specialised 
species has been found to be 'incompatible with modern logging 
methods'. Frugivores are considered to be especially threatened by 
the changed forest structure induced by selective logging and by 
the disappearance of the seed dispersers such as large mammals 
and birds (Thiollay, 1985), although the latter is not due to the 
logging itself, but to the hunting often associated with it. 

The Future of Forest Management 

Natural forest management for timber production can be practised 
at various levels of intensity. As a minimum, it requires demarcation 
and protection, inventory and the regulation and control of exploita- 
tion of the forest. More intensive management involves silvicultural 
interventions such as the release of regenerating timber trees by 
clearing unwanted competitors and cutting climbers The high costs 
involved in silvicultural operations can only be justified in the case 
of forests that are nch in exploitable timber and where the cost of 
transport to markets is low. In Africa, few forests fulfil these require- 
ments, and extensive management is often the only feasible option. 
Therefore, efforts to enhance forest management should concentrate 
on improved control of forest access and harvesting, and a satisfac- 
tory economic and policy environment for the logging and timber 
processing industry. These proposed improvements are amplified in 
the five measures discussed overleaf 

A tree nursery in Kornp, Cameroon tvhich zi'ill proi'ide indigenous 
tree species for reforestation projCLK- W. Rauktari 




65 



Forest Management 

An important advantage of forests extensively managed for tim- 
ber production is that they can also be managed for other uses. 
They can provide a range of non-timber benefits, such as water- 
shed protection, nature conservation and non-timber forest prod- 
ucts. If these non-timber benefits are more important than timber 
products, for instance in areas where forest cover has substantially 
decreased in recent times, conflicts between timber production and 
other management objectives may occur. The trade-offs must then 
be assessed, and management plans adapted accordingly. 

Recently, many people have suggested that tropical moist forests 
should be managed for non-timber forest products, to the exclu- 
sion of timber. Two arguments should suffice to counter this sug- 
gestion. First, although the forest legislation guaranteeing local 
people's rights to continue to harvest non-timber products is not 
always respected, there is no intrinsic reason why logging and har- 
vesting of non-timber products should not be compatible. Second, 
the management history of non-timber products has been depress- 
ingly similar to that of timber; overhunting and overharvesting have 
been the rule rather than the exception (see case studybelow). 

The popular image of the big bad logger or colonist farmer clear- 
felling the forest at the expense of the poor defenceless hunter-gath- 
erer tribesman is an oversimplification. This image is false in Africa. 
No logger spends money felling trees he has to leave in the forest 
because no market will accept them. Furthermore, most African for- 
est dwellers are farmers w-ho also gather forest products, and the few 
true African forest dwellers (mainly the pygmies) have lived in sym- 
biosis with these farmers since time immemorial, bartering bushmeat 
and labour against farm produce to increase the quality and security 
of their livelihoods (Ichikawa, 1983; see chapter 5). In fact, most for- 
est-dwelling populations are not as dependent on primary forest as 
is often suggested. In the Mayombe region of Congo, for instance, 
local populations depend to a far greater extent on secondary forest 
for their livelihood (for example, hunting, collecting various other 
foodstuffs and gathering thatching material), even though the pri- 
mary forest is still nearby (Michon-de Forestal, 1987). 



Five Measures Required to Improve Forest Management 

1 Control of access and support measures 

Since the development of intensive agricultural practices is not yet 
- and in some cases might never be - feasible in most African rain 
forest areas, the only way to safeguard forests against encroach- 
ment is to plan infrastructure and other development so as to min- 
imise access to these forests. 

The decision to open up forests with large-scale infrastructure 
investment in road building, railway construction, river access and 
port improvement is a policy to speed up deforestation in that area, 
whether or not this is intentional (Schmithiisen, 1989). This situ- 
ation is caused by the fact that benefits from 'creaming', existing 
or anificially induced pressure for land clearing for agriculture or 
pasture, and the possibility of transferring public forest land into 
some form of private tenure through deforestation, are all power- 
ful incentives against preservation of accessible forest ecosystems. 

Law enforcement alone is neither effective nor desirable. 
Measures restricting access should be complemented by positive 
interventions supporting local livelihoods, an approach that has 
been pioneered in a nature conservation context by projects such 
as Korup National Park in Cameroon (see case study in chapter 
1 3). Thus, where developments such as road construction and the 
establishment of large cash crop estates are likely to result in large 
concentrations of people, additional measures to reduce the poss- 
ible negative impact of encroachment by forest farmers should be 
taken (Doumenge et ai, 1989). 

Clearing of primary forest for agriculture will in some circum- 
stances be necessary. In countries such as Zaire, where extensive 
areas with fertile alluvial soils are still covered in forest, clearing of 
the forest to grow food for an increasing population will undoubt- 
edly have a role to play in the country's future development. A care- 
ful choice has to be made as to which areas to preserve intact, which 
to reserve for timber production, and which to conven to other 
uses (Poore and Sayer, 1987). 



NoN-TiMBER Forest Products as an Alternative? 



There is a strong economic case for basing forest management 
on non-timber products (Peters et ai, 1989). But the potential 
of non-timber forest products to generate revenue, particularly 
from exports, has sometimes been exaggerated and the prob- 
lems involved in the management of forests for these products 
have been underestimated. Peters ei al. analysed the economic 
returns of a 1 ha patch of rain forest near a village 30 km from 
the town of Iquitos in Amazonian Peru, using hypothetical mar- 
ket prices for fruits and forest-gate prices for timber. This 
showed that non-timber forest products could provide a sus- 
tainable yield ten times as high as that of timber. But what holds 
true for an intensively managed forest near a town, cannot nec- 
essarily be applied to the whole of the tropical rain forest. 

Southeast Asia has a long history of successful export of 
non-timber forest products such as rattans, resins, and gums 
to Europe. However, African non-timber forest products have 
generally been important only for subsistence and local cash 
economies. Exceptions were a short-lived rubber boom (from 
Laiidolphia heudelotii) in the 1 890s, and the relatively small but 
steady export of medicinal barks from Cameroon and medic- 
inal plants from Zaire. The latter country exports seeds of 
Slrophanthns spp., containing cardiac glycosides such as 



ouabain and cymarin, and Rauvolfia voiiiitoria and other 
species containing a latex rich in the alkaloids reserpme and 
rescinnamine. 

Non-timber forest products are frequently harvested unsus- 
tainably. This is particularly the case with tree barks and gums. 
Thus, Primus afncana, a well-known medicinal tree species, 
has been severely overexploited in the mountain forests of 
Western Cameroon. Sustainable harvesting is possible in prin- 
ciple, by stripping only part of the bark and leaving the tree to 
recover until the next harvesting cycle. Similarly, rubber from 
Landolphia heudelotii was obtained mainly by so-called slaugh- 
ter tapping (Richards, 1985). 

Many species yielding non-timber forest products have 
been brought close to extinction through over-exploitation in 
the wild. The best option for their continued production is 
through domestication. Cinnamon, trees yielding resins such 
as damar and, increasingly, rattans are the most well-known 
Southeast Asian examples of this pattern: initially collected in 
the forest, they are now grown in plantations. Light-demand- 
ing species that thrive in secondary environments, such as the 
Strcphanthus and Rauvolfia mentioned above, are particularly 
easy to domesticate. 



66 



Forest Management 



Recently, efforts have been made to include agricultural expan- 
sion zones in forest management plans. Examples are in the Forest 
Management Unit 6 in the Chaillu, Congo; in Akonolingga Forest 
Reserve in Cameroon; and in an lUCN project in the Usambara 
mountains in Tanzania (see case study in chapter 17). Such zones 
should be agreed through consultation with local populations and 
clearly demarcated on the ground, if necessary by buffers of fast- 
growing plantations. This model was previously successful in Ghana 
and Cote d'lvoire, where the forest reserves established before inde- 
pendence in consultation with the local chiefs are still present, the 
straight lines of their boundaries clearly visible on satellite imagery. 

2 Control and improvement of logging 

Extensive management is the only feasible system for most of the 
African rain forests devoted to permanent timber production. 
Therefore, the integration of harvesting and silviculture is one of 
the most important and, at the same time, most difficult elements 
of forest management (Catinot, 1986, cited in FAO, 1989). 

Protection of the forest, realistic assessment of the annual cut, 
arrangement and demarcation of annual coupes, pre-felling inven- 
tory and choice of silvicultural system, marking of trees for retention 
or felling, exploitation of coupe to acceptable damage limits, post- 
felling inventory, check of coupe harvest by species, silvicultural 
treatment of relic stand, continuous forest inventory, maintenance 
of main roads and erosion control on subsidiary roads should all be 
the subject of intensive on-the-ground control (Burgess, 1991). 
Modem technology such as satellite imagery might make this cheaper, 
but logging control will remain costly and, therefore, a finm financial 
commitment on the part of the government is indispensable. 

Jonsson and Lindgren (1990) identified a combination of mea- 
sures, including improved concession agreements, information 
dissemination and better planning and control of harvesting opera- 
tions, which would bnng about more efficient and ecologically sound 
logging practices. This is a matter of long-term commitment to 
improving human resources rather than extra investment in machin- 
ery. Present logging technology is acceptable and appropriate in most 
cases if properly applied. The increased cost of planning and control 
is easily offset by the financial benefits of more efficient operations. 

3 Control of hunting in logging concessions 

Loggers cannot be held solely responsible for the wildlife in their con- 
cessions, but it is imperative that they are aware of prevailing hunt- 
ing patterns and that they respect government schemes such as gun 
control, bushmeat farming, and policies that invest traditional 
hunters with the means to exclude competing commercial hunters 
(Skorupa, 1988). In Gabon, where logging is allowed in wildlife 
reserves, the loggers in Lope Reserve are to be asked to accept respon- 
sibility for the control of hunting in their concession areas. 

4 Economically rational decision making 

Valuation of forests for timber production should be based on a 
fully socio-economic (rather than purely financial) basis. Not only 



timber but non-timber products and environmental services 
should be assessed as far as possible. Where forests are managed 
for multiple uses such as timber production, watershed protection 
and wildlife conservation, the trade-offs between the various man- 
agement objectives should be assessed (Pearce 1990). Forests of 
marginal timber value should be managed for other purposes of 
greater value, such as biological diversity, or soil and water con- 
servation (Repetto and Gillis, 1988). 

Risk analysis should play an important role in economic assess- 
ment, as the risks of both fire and encroachment are known to be 
higher in logged-over forest. A clear lesson was provided by the fires 
which destroyed millions of hectares of moist forest in Borneo in 
1983, and where logged-over forest was particularly severely affected. 
5 Equitable distribution of benefits 

In many countries, profit levels in tropical moist forest logging have 
been extremely high Qonsson and Lindgren, 1990). Excessive 
profit levels are known to lead people to engage in rent-seeking 
behaviour - that is, getting as much profit as possible as soon as 
possible (see chapter 7). 

A recent study on incentives for better forest management com- 
missioned by the International Tropical Timber Organisation has 
found that present consumer prices are high enough to provide just 
compensation for people involved in or affected by logging. 
However, available benefits get distributed very unevenly. As 
Schmithijsen (1989) put it: 'Because of institutional weakness, 
local people cannot articulate their interests if they coincide with 
forest conservation, and if their interests do not, this same weak- 
ness does not allow for social and economic compensation to 
accrue to them.' The need is therefore to strengthen local people's 
power rather than to increase timber prices. 

Conclusion 

At present, there is little sustained-yield forest management in 
African moist forests. Forest is being destroyed largely by unsus- 
tainable farming practices, with access frequently being provided 
by logging roads. The extraction of timber and other products is 
not accompanied by reinvestment of benefits to ensure the capac- 
ity of the forest for future production. It is only in remote areas 
with low population pressure that forests are allowed to regener- 
ate after logging. If the measures described above are not all taken 
in a coordinated way, sustained-yield management will not come 
about, at least not on the scale required. 

From this review of complex and interrelated issues one con- 
clusion is obvious: there are no simple solutions. What is needed 
to guarantee sustainable management of forests is a carefully 
designed system of checks and balances, aiming at an equitable dis- 
tribution of benefits among all parties involved, while guarantee- 
ing the future of the resource. At present, such systems are absent 
in most parts of Africa. 



References 

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N. M., Sayer, J. A. and Whitmore, T. C. (eds), pp. 43-50. 
Macmillan, London, in association with lUCN, Gland, 
Switzerland. 

de Rouw, A. (1987) Tree management as part of two farming sys- 
tems in the wet forest zone (Ivory Coast). Acta Oecologica, 
Oecologia Appticata 8(1): 39-5 1 . 

Diamond, A. W. (1985) Threats to tropical forest birds and cnti- 
cal sites for their conservation. In: Conservation of Tropical Forest 
Birds. Diamond, A. W. and Lovejoy, T. E. (eds). International 



Council for Bird Preservation Technical Publication No. 4. ICBP, 

Cambridge, UK. 
Doumenge, C, Kitalema, N. and Rietbergen, S. (1989) Plan 

d'Action Forestier Tropical, Zaire. Conservation des Ecosystemes 

Forestiers, Volet Pares et Reserves. Departement des Affaires 

Foncieres, de I'Environnement et de la Conservation de la Namre, 

Kinshasa, Zaire. 
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Provenances. FAO Forestry Paper No. 77, Rome, Italy. 
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Forestry Paper No. 88, Rome, Italy. 
Grainger, A. (1987) Tropform: a model of future tropical timber 



67 



Forest Management 



T . :.^M.mtJ. .-•-. ■•.■MJ - 




A road being built through Zaire's rain forest. This opens the way to settlers and iiitiL\istd i\[^liiiuiiioii ol i he forest. 



C. Doumenge 



hardwood supplies. Proceedings of the Symposium in Forest Sector 

and Trade Models. University of Washington, Seattle, USA. 
GTZ/IZCN (1986) Rapport Fmal du Seminaire Prelimmaire sur la 

Conservation de la Nature Integree au Developpement. Bakau, 2-7 

December 1985. GTZ/IZCN, Kinshasa, Zaire. 
Hawtiiome, W. ( 1 989) The Regeneration of Ghana 's Forests. Interim 

report March 1989. ODA Forest Inventory Project Report, 

Kumasi, Ghana. 
Ichikawa (1983) An examination of the hunting-dependent life of 

the Mbuti pygmies, Eastern Zaire. African Study Monographs 4; 

55-76. 
Johns, A. D. (1985) Selective logging and wildlife conservation in 

tropical rainforest: problems and recommendations. Conservation 

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Forests - For or Against? Report from the ITTO pre-project 

'Improvement of Harvesting Systems for the Sustainable 

Management of Tropical Rain Forests'. Forest Operations 

Institute, Kista, Sweden. 
Kahn, F. ( 1 982) La Reconstttution de la Foret Tropicale Humide, Sud- 

Ouest de la Cote d'lvoire. Collection Memoires No 97. Editions de 

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Paris, France. 
Lamprecht, H. (1989) Silviculture in the Tropics. Deutsche 

Gesellschaft fiir Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, 

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Michon-de Forestal, G. (1987) Utilisation et Role de TArbre et des 

Vegetations Naturelles dans les Systemes Agraires du Mayornbe (Sud- 

Congo) : Perspectives pour le Developpement d Agroforesterie Paysannes 

Integrees. Report to Unesco, Paris, France. 
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Forests. Paper prepared for University of Oxford and Oxford 

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(1989) Valuation of an Amazonian rainforest. Nature 339: 29. 



Poore, D. and Sayer, J. A. ( 1 987) The Management of Tropical Moist 
Forest Lands: Ecological Guidelines. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and 
Cambridge, UK. 

Repetto, R. and Gillis, M. (eds) (1988) Public Policy and the Misuse 
of Forest Resources. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 

Richards, P. (1985) Indigenous Agricultural Revolution: Ecology and 
Food Production in West Africa. Unwin Hyman, London, UK. 

Sayer, ]. A., McNeely, J. A. and Stuart, S. N. (1990) The 
Conservation of Tropical Forest Vertebrates. In: Vertebrates in the 
Tropics. Peters, G. and Hatterer, R. (eds). Museum Alexander 
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Schmidt, R. S. (1987) Tropical Rainforest Management: A Status 
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Schmithusen, F. (1989) Tropical forest conservation and protec- 
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Skorupa, J. P. (1988) The Effects of Selective Timber Haniestiiig on 
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Thiollay, J.-M. (1985) The West African forest avifauna: a review. 
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Wilkie, D. S. (1988) Hunters and farmers of the African forest. In: 
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Authorship 

Simon Rietbergen, IIED, London. 



68 



9 The Protected Areas 
System 



Introduction 

The governments of African countries are increasingly aware of the 
urgent need to conserve examples of their remaining tropical 
forests. Protected areas constitute the most widespread mechanism 
for achieving this, yet several problems face these areas in many 
African countries. This chapter outlines the role of protected areas 
and describes the history of forest protection in Africa. The extent 
and effectiveness of the current network of protected forests is 
assessed and criteria for expanding the protected area system and 
reconciling it with local development needs, are discussed. Three 
case studies illustrating the benefits and problems of reconciling 
local interests with protected areas, are included. Finally, the 
prospects for forest conservation across Africa are assessed. It is 
concluded that protected areas will be successful in conserving 
tropical forests only if they are able to meet the legitimate devel- 
opment aspirations of the people that live in and around them. 

Concept and Function of Protected Areas 

Protected areas can be defined as predominantly natural areas, 
safeguarded by law or custom, where species and ecosystems are 
conserved for current and future generations. Tropical rain 
forests contain at least half of the world's species (Sutton et al, 
1984), so to establish and maintam tropical forest conservation 
areas is particularly important for protecting biological diversity. 
Large numbers of tropical forest species are already included 
within Africa's protected areas. For example, there are 1300 
species of plants in Cote d'lvoire's Tai Forest, of which 54 per 
cent are endemic to the Upper Guinea sub-region (Guillaumet, 
1967). Similarly, Cameroon's Korup National Park contains 
approximately 500 tree species (Gartlan and Agland, 1981) and 
is one of the more important sites for primate conservation on 
the continent (Oates, 1986). It has been shown that Africa's pro- 
tected area system protects the majority of the continent's bird 
species (Sayer and Stuart, 1989). 

The primary function of protected areas is seen by some as the 
conservation of species and habitats (e.g. Bell, 1983; 1987), but 
protected areas also provide an array of economically important 
goods and services (Prescott-Allen and Prescott-Allen, 1982; 
MacKinnon et al, 1986; McNeely, 1988; summarised in Tables 
9.1 and 9.2). Direct benefits of protected areas - those that can be 
readily quantified in economic terms - include protecting renew- 
able resources harvested within or beyond the boundaries of these 
areas, supporting nature-related recreation and tourism and con- 
serving genetic resources. Indirect benefits, such as stabilising local 
climate, protecting watersheds and preventing soil erosion, are 
more difficult to evaluate and are therefore often overlooked in 
cost-benefit analyses. Nevertheless, when they are taken into 



account, such indirect benefits often outweigh the direct benefits 
of conserving wildlife (McNeely, 1988). 

There are also a number of costs associated with protecting trop- 
ical forests. Direct costs include the loss of crops and livestock in 
adjacent agricultural areas to animals living in reserves. Important 
indirect costs include the lost opportunities for gaining immediate 
benefits by, for example, logging an area or converting it to an alter- 
native form of land use. The burden of such costs falls largely on 
those communities living in the vicinity of protected areas, while 
the benefits of conservation are sometimes enjoyed mainly at 
national or international level (Bell, 1987). This means that local 
communities often pay a considerable price for protected areas and 



Table 9.1 Direct benefits of protected areas 

Direct benefits are immediate and can be easily observed and mea- 
sured. They can include: 

Protecting renewable resources Protected area management often 
involves the sustainable exploitation of resources such as timber and 
so-called 'secondary' forest products. For example, honey-gathering 
is a culturally and economically important activity in many protected 
African forests, including Mt Kilum in Cameroon (Stone, 1990), 
Mau Forest in Kenya and Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda. 

Supporting tourism atid recreation Wildlife-related tourism is a large, 
rapidly growing industry that is playing an increasingly imponant 
role in earning foreign exchange for developing countries (see case 
study on Nyungwe Forest). For instance, revenue from an 
estimated 6500 visitors to Rwanda's mountain gorillas earned the 
Volcanoes National Park more than US$800,000 in 1989 
(compared with barely US$10,000 in 1979; Wells et al., 1990). 
Moreover, these foreign tourists also spend money elsewhere in 
the country and the total income earned from tourism was as high 
as US$17 million in 1989 (Monfort, 1990), which makes tourism 
the third largest earner of foreign revenue in Rwanda. 

Conserving genetic resources People currently use some 1 5,000 species 
of wild plants and animals and it is likely that many more will be of 
use in the future (McNeely, 1988). In addition, genetic turnover in 
domestic species is extremely rapid and modem agriculture is highly 
dependent on using wild genetic resources for improving crop yields 
and resistance to pests (Prescott-Allen and Prescott-Allen, 1982). 
As remaining natural habitats dwindle, protected forest areas are set 
to become extremely important as in situ gene banks. 



69 



The Protected Areas System 



Table 9.2 Indirect benefits of protected areas 
Protected forests provide a number of indirect benefits which, 
although difficult to measure in economic terms, are often essen- 
tial in maintaining other forms of land use. 

Stabilising u-arer catchments Natural forests play a vital role in 
regulating water flow to surrounding agricultural areas. Rivers from 
the Tai Forest, for instance, have twice the flow of water midway 
through the dry season, and three to five times the flow at the end 
of the dry season, as do rivers from a nearby coffee plantation 
(Dosso et ai, 1981). Forests thus mitigate the effects of seasonal 
droughts and, by their ability to soak up water during rainy seasons, 
also serve to minimise soil erosion on surrounding hillsides. 

AlatntaiHDig climatic stability There is considerable evidence that 
forests regulate rainfall and humidity levels in their vicinity by 
returning water vapour to the atmosphere at a steady rate 
(Dickenson, 1981). Thus it is likely that the recent reduction in 
mistiness at high altitudes in the East Usambaras, Tanzania, for 
example, is the result of extensive forest clearance (Hamilton and 
Bensted-Smith, 1989). Retaining forest cover also helps keep 
ambient temperatures relatively low, benefiting agriculture. 

Protecting soils Exposure of tropical soils leads to their rapid 
degradation through leaching of minerals and accelerated erosion. 



particularly of nutrient-rich topsoil. A study of erosion in Kenya 
revealed that soil loss frt>m agricultural land is more than 1 00 times 
greater than that from intact forest (Dunne, 1979). 

Additional biological services Tropical forests often act as important 
reservoirs for birds and other animals which control pests in nearby 
agricultural areas. Similarly, several economically important crops 
rely on forest species for pollination or germination. Forest 
protected areas play a key role in maintaining these important 
agents and the species on which they, in turn, rely. 

Providing facilities for scientific research and education Little is 
understood about maximising agricultural productivity on 
marginal tropical soils, but studying ecological processes in intact 
forest areas may result in valuable contributions to such applied 
research. In addition, tropical forests provide unparalleled 
opportunities for education and training of local and foreign 
students, as well as for fundamental research in fields such as 
evolutionary biology. For example, scientists at the Makerere 
University Biological Field Station in Kibale Forest, Uganda, have 
carried out important applied research on the relationships between 
forest regeneration and clearing size (Skorupa and Kasenene, 
1983). Kibale is also a centre for the study of primate ecology and 
behaviour and the station provides basic field experience for large 
numbers of undergraduates and secondary school students. 



are therefore understandably resentful towards them. Conflicts 
between protected areas and nearby rural communities can only be 
reconciled by more effective integration of conservation programmes 
with the legitimate development aspirations of local people. 

In recognition of the importance to conser\'ation of sustained 
resource use as well as resource protection, lUCN's Commission 
on National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA) distinguishes 
eight different types of conservation areas (Table 9.3; lUCN, 
1 984). Their management objectives vary from strict protection to 
sustainable exploitation. The range of more commonly used cate- 
gories runs from Strict Nature Reserves (Category I) and National 
Parks (Category II), which are protected from exploitation, to 
Multiple-Use Management Areas (Category VIII), where conser- 
vation is combined with sustainable resource use. 

History of Protected Areas in Africa 

Although nature reserves were not formally established in Africa 
until the end of the 19th century, several African cultures have a 
long tradition of protecting forests. For instance, 'Kaya' (home- 
stead) forests situated along the Kenyan coast have been safe- 
guarded for more than 400 years by the Mijikenda tribe (see case 
study in chapter 17). These forests were originally the locations of 
fortified villages where the people hid from their enemies and, until 
recently, the abandoned groves were rigorously protected by tribal 
elders as sites for burials and traditional ceremonies. Indeed, reli- 
gious and cultural factors have been important in preserving many 
other forests in Africa. For instance, a relict grove at Zagne in Cote 
d'lvoire has long been protected by local villagers because they 
revere the mona monkey Cercopkhecus mona and spot-nosed 
guenon C. petaunsla that live there (Kingdon, 1990). Similarly, the 
forested slopes of Mt Kilum in Cameroon have traditionally been 
protected from cultivation by a figure known as Mabu, a fierce 
deity in the religion of the local Oku tribe (Stone, 1989). Ghana 
has similar sacred sites (see case study on Boabeng-Fiema Monkey 
Sanctuary in chapter 21). 



Table 9.3 Categories and management objectives of protected areas 

I Scientific Resen'e/Strict Nature Resenv: to protect nature and maintain 
natural processes in an undisturbed state in order to have ecologically 
representative examples of the natural environment available for 
scientific study, environmental monitoring, education and for the 
maintenance of genetic resources in a dynamic and evolutionary state. 

II National Park: to protect natural and scenic areas of national 
or international significance for scientific, educational and 
recreational use. 

III Natural Monument/Natural Landmark: to protect and preserve 
nationally significant natural features because of their special interest 
or unique characteristics. 

IV Managed Nature Reserve/Wildlife Sanctuary: to assure the natural 
conditions necessar>' to protect nationally significant species, groups of 
species, biotic communities, or physical features of the environment, 
where these require specific human manipulation for their perpetuation. 

V Pvtected Landscape: to maintain nationally significant natural 
landscapes which are characteristic of the harmonious interaction of 
man and land while providing opportunities for public enjoyment 
through recreation and tourism within the normal lifestyle and 
economic activity of these areas. 

VI Resource Reserve: to protect the natural resources of the area for 
future use and prevent or contain development activities that could 
affect the resource pending the establishment of objectives which are 
based upon appropnate knowledge and planning. 

VII Natural Biotic/Anthropological Reserve: to allow the way of life of 
societies living in harmony with the environment to continue 
undisturbed by modem technology. 

VIII Multiple-U se Management Area/Managed Resource Area: lo-pvovide 
for the sustained production of water, timber, wildlife, pasture and 
outdoor recreation, with the conservation of nature primarily oriented 
to the suppon of economic activities (although some zones may also be 
designed within these areas to achieve specific conservation objectives). 

(i'.mrav adapted from lUCN, 1984) 



70 



The Protected Areas System 





500 


J 


4nn 


^ 




s 




c 


300 


















a 


m 






-a 








5 


100 




1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 



Figure 9.1(a) Total areas of rain forest and savanna 
encompassed within Africa's protected areas network, 1900-89 





7 SAVANNA . 1 








BO 






3 




-A"""^ 


-^ 




/^ 






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3 




/^ 








&s 




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s 




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O 





A A^ A A A'^ 




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1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 



Figure 9.1(b) Total areas protected over the same period, 
expressed as a percentage of the total covered by rain forest and 
open woodland/savanna phytochoria (from White, 1983) 



The colonial era saw the establishment of many protected areas 
in Africa. This process has gathered momentum following the 
independence of African countries, but until recently emphasis has 
consistently been placed on protecting large mammals in relatively 
open habitats, first for huntmg and later for game viewing. Thus 
although Africa's first national park (Albert National Park, estab- 
lished in 1925 in what was then Belgian Congo) included impor- 
tant tracts of rain forest, the protection of forests in Africa has 
consistently lagged behind that of savanna (see Figure 9.1). Forest 
species tend to be less widely represented in protected areas 
than their taxonomic counterparts in open savanna habitats 
(MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 1986). 

Moreover, the siting of forest protected areas has often been influ- 
enced primarily by socio-economic rather than biological considera- 
tions (Clarke and Bell, 1986; Leader-Williams etal., 1990). Protected 
areas are frequently established in areas not in demand for other forms 
of land use. The establishment of protected area networks by default 
often leaves important gaps in the coverage of species and habitats. 
For example, the vast Salonga National Park in Zaire was gazetted 
primarily in order to protect the bonobo or pygmy chimpanzee Pa)i 
pantscus (found in no other conservation area), but subsequent 
investigations have revealed that the centre of the species range lies 
outside the park. Similarly, there are considerable shortfalls in forest 
protection in the protected area networks of Malawi (Clarke and Bell, 
1986) and a number of Central Afncan states (UICN, 1990c). 
However, recognition of these gaps has been accompanied by plans 
for several countries, such as Gabon, Congo and Cameroon (Gartlan, 
1989; UICN, 1990a; UICN, 1990b), aimed at ensunng better cov- 
erage of forest types within protected area networks. 

Almost all countries in the Afrotropical realm now participate 
in international and regional conventions concerned with protect- 
ing natural areas, the exceptions being Angola, Equatorial Guinea 
and Sao Tome and Principe (see Tables 9.4 and 9.5). These 
treaties and programmes provide powerful forces for conserving 
some of the region's most important sites by strengthening the 
position of the responsible national authorities and attracting 
financial support from international sources. Nevertheless, oppor- 
tunities to augment the national resources available for managing 
these sites are seldom fully exploited. 

The World Hcniage Coiivcntwn boasts the greatest number of 
member countries (22) from the region considered in this Atlas, 
but half of these have not yet had any natural properties inscribed 
on the World Heritage List. Of the 2 1 natural propenies in the 
region listed under the convention, nine contain tropical moist for- 
est (Table 9.4). Notable is Zaire's 36,000 sq. km Salonga National 



Park, the largest rain forest national park in the world. In addition 
a network o{ Biosphere reserves (Uneseo MAB Programme) has been 
set up in 1 8 countries of the region, with 20 sites in 1 5 nations con- 
taining tropical moist forest. Although based on sound principles, 
the MAB Programme is not primarily a conservation instrument; 
implementation of the programme is the responsibility of national 
MAB committees, which often lack management authority. Six 
countries within the region have signed the Convention on Wetlands 
of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (the Ranisar 
Convention), but only three Ramsar sites contain expensive stands of 
rain forest, all in Gabon (Wonga-Wongue and Sette-Cama Nature 
Reserves and Petit Loango Faunal Reserve). Two other countries - 
Senegal, with two sites, and Guinea-Bissau - have Ramsar sites that 
contain mangroves. Figure 9.2 (page 79) shows the position of the 
World Heritage, Biosphere and Ramsar sites in Africa. Most coun- 
tries (30) are party to the Afncan Convention on the Conserz'ation of 
Nature and Natural Resources (1968) and the wording of this con- 
vention has inspired much wildlife protection and protected area leg- 
islation in the region. Lastly, a new Convention on the Conservation of 
Biological Diversity is being negotiated as pan of the process leading 
up to the United Nations Conference on Environment and 
Development in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. 

The Coverage of Africa's Tropical Forests by Protected Areas 

No comprehensive sur\'ey exists of the extent of tropical moist for- 
est within Africa's protected areas. Indeed, this would be difficult to 
achieve with any degree of accuracy as most protected areas include 
a variety of vegetation types. Although information is available on 
the total area protected, it is hard to obtain information on the extent 
of rain forest within protected areas. This is especially the case in 
Eastern and Southern Afnca and for the Indian Ocean Islands where 
forest is often restricted to tiny remnant patches within very exten- 
sive savanna protected areas. Table 9.6 gives information on the 
extent of these protected areas which lie within the forest zone as 
defined in this Atlas (see Table 1.2, p. 14) and which are known to 
contain at least some closed broadleaved forest. 

For the forested countries of West and Central Africa it is pos- 
sible to get a reasonable approximation of the area of rain forest 
receiving protection. In these regions the protected areas in the rain 
forest tend to be largely forested. Table 9.6 shows that about 20 
per cent of the remaining forest in West Africa is now protected 
and 7 per cent of that remaining in Central Africa. The apparendy 
high figure for West Africa reflects the fact that all forest outside 
protected areas is rapidly being cleared. The WCMC Protected 
Areas Data Unit is aware of proposals to give total protection to a 



71 



The Protected Areas System 



Table 9.4 State parties to international and regional conventions or programmes concerned with the conservation of natural areas. 
Where applicable, the number of tropical moist forest sites recognised under respective conventions is given in brackets 



World Heritage Convenlioii 



Angola 

Benin 

Burundi 

Cameroon 

Central African Rep. 

Comoros 

Congo 

Cote d'lvoire 

Equatorial Guinea 

Ethiopia 

Gabon 

Gambia 

Ghana 

Guinea 

Guinea-Bissau 

Kenya 

Liberia 

Madagascar 

Malawi 

Mauritius 

Mozambique 

Nigeria 

Rwanda 

Sao Tome and Principe 

Senegal 

Seychelles 

Sierra Leone 

Somalia 

Sudan 

Tanzania 

Togo 

Uganda 

Zaire 

Zimbabwe 



14 Jun 82 

19 May 82 

7 Dec 82 

22 Dec 80 

10 Dec 87 
9 Jan 81 

6 Jul 77 

30 Dec 86 

1 Jul 87 

4 Jul 75 
18 Mar 79 

5 Jun 91 

19 Jul 83 

5 Jan 82 

27 Nov 82 

23 Oct 74 



13 Feb 76 
9 Apr 80 



6 Jun 74 
2 Aug 77 

20 Nov 87 
23 Sep 74 
16 Aug 82 



(1) 



(2") 



Inleniational 
Biosphere Reserves 



(I) 
(1) 



(10 



(1) 



(I) 



(3) 



(2) 
(1) 



(1) 

(1) 
(2) 

(2) 

(1) 

(1) 

(1) 
(1) 

(2) 



(1) 
(2) 



Raiiisar Convention 



30 Dec 86 (3) 

22 Feb 88 

14 May 90(1) 
5 Jun 91 



1 1 Jul 77 (2) 



4 Mar 88 (1) 



Regional 
African Convention 

S 
S 
D 
D 
S 
D 
D 

S 
S 
D 
D 

S 

D 
D 
D 
D 
S 
D 
D 
D 

D 
D 
S 
S 
D 
D 
D 
D 
D 



^ Mount Nimba World Henlage Site straddles Cote d'lvoire and Guinea 
D = deposit of instrument; S = signatory 



(Sources: lUCN, 1989; 1990) 



further 4 per cent of West Africa's rain forests but to only an addi- 
tional 0.5 per cent of those of Central Africa. 

The coverage of tropical forests by Africa's protected area net- 
work has been reviewed by a detailed analysis of the extent of pro- 
tection of the different biogeographical units (termed phytochoria) 
within the Afrotropical realm (MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 
1986). This review assessed needs for further conservation in each 
phytochorion, on the basis of both current coverage by protected 
areas and species richness and endemism within the different units. 
Of all the 17 phytochoria considered, the three predominantly 
forested units - that is, Guineo-Congolian, East Malagasy and 
Afromontane areas - were found to be those in most urgent need 
of additional conservation action (MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 
1986). Considerable extension of the protected area network is 
required if Africa's tropical forests are to be effectively conserved. 

A second imponant shortcoming of the current protected area 
system is that management authorities are often weak and are 
unable to limit destructive activities within the boundaries of 
reserves. For instance, Sao Tome and Principe has no enabling leg- 
islation for the establishment of protected areas, while in Somalia 



the protected area legislation is largely obsolete. In several coun- 
tries protected area legislation emphasises the protection of ani- 
mals with little or no provision for habitat protection. Thus in 
Gabon, timber may be exploited within faunal reserves. 

Even where there is legal protection this does not necessarily guar- 
antee the survival of tropical forests. For example, Tai National Park 
has been described as 'probably the most important protected area 
in the whole of West Africa' (MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 1986), 
but it continues to be damaged by poaching, gold prospecting and 
agricultural encroachment. lUCN's Commission on National Parks 
and Protected Areas maintains a register of Threatened Protected 
Areas of the World; this includes Mt Nimba Strict Nature Reserve in 
Cote d'lvoire and Guinea, which is threatened by iron ore mining, 
and Kahuzi-Biega National Park in Zaire, which is at risk from road 
construction. Logging, land clearance for cultivation and under- 
cropping of the canopy with cardamom have already destroyed con- 
siderable parts of the forest reserves of Tanzania's Usambara 
Mountains (Hamilton and Bensted-Smith, 1989; Wells et al., 1990), 
while all primary forest remaining in Gabon's 5000 sq. km Lope 
Reserve will have been logged in less than ten years (UICN, 1990b). 



72 



The Protected Areas System 



Criteria for Extending the Protected Area Network 

While hiogeographical studies at a continental level indicate over- 
all gaps within protected area networks (see above and Harrison ct 
ai, 1982; MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 1986), comparisons of 
species lists for individual forests enable particular sites to be iden- 
tified as priorities for further protection (e.g. see Rylands, 1990). 
For Africa's forests such fine-scale analyses have been carried out 
for selected groups such as primates, plants and birds (Oates, 1 986; 
lUCN, 1987; Collar and Stuan, 1988). These studies have iden- 
tified a number of forests as being particularly urgent priorities for 
conservation action. For example, many Afromontane forests are 
extremely rich in endemic species but currently receive little effec- 
tive protection. These include Mt Cameroon, the Itombwe moun- 
tains in Zaire, the Usambara and Uzungwa mountains in Tanzania 
and the forests of the Angola Scarp (MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 
1986; Collar and Stuart, 1988). Special importance has also been 
placed on remaining lowland rain forests west of the Dahomey gap, 
such as Gola in Sierra Leone (Davies, 1987) and Lofa-Mano in 
Liberia (MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 1986; Collar and Stuart, 
1988). Key unprotected forests in Madagascar include Masoala, 
'Sihanaka' and those around Maroantsetra (Jenkins, 1987; Collar 
and Stuan, 1988). Other critically important but as yet largely 
unprotected forests in the Afrotropical realm include those of 
south-west Sao Tome, the Ituri Forest in Zaire and Arabuko-Sokoke 
Forest in Kenya (see Figure 10.2 and Table 10.5 on pp. 90-2; 
MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 1986; Collar and Stuart, 1988). 

Once critical sites for the establishment of protected areas have 
been identified, several theoretical considerations bear upon the 



Table 9.5 International and regional conventions and 
programmes relevant to the protection of Africa's tropical forests 

Tlie World Heniage Convention (1972) provides for the designation of 
natural and cultural areas of 'outstanding universal value' as World 
Heritage sites, in order to promote their significance at local, national 
and international levels. It imposes a legal duty on contracting parties to 
do their utmost to protect their natural and cultural heritage; this obliga- 
tion extends beyond sites inscribed on the World Hentage list. The Con- 
vention also has provision for aid and technical cooperation to be offered 
to contracting parties for the protection of their World Heritage sites. 

The Unesco Man and the Biosphere Programme provides for the estab- 
lishment of a worldwide system of 'biosphere reserves" representative 
of natural ecosystems, to conserve genetic diversity and to promote mon- 
itoring, research and training. Particular emphasis is placed on the 
restoration of degraded ecosystems to more natural conditions, harmo- 
niously integrating traditional patterns of land use within a conservation 
framework and involving local people in decision-making processes. 

The Convention on Wetlands oj International Importance especially as 
Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention, 1971) provides the frame- 
work for international cooperation to conserve wetlands. 
Contracting parties accept an undertaking to promote the wise use 
of all wetlands and to designate one or more wetlands for inclusion 
in a List of Wetlands of International Importance. 

TIte African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources 
( 1 968) emphasises the need for special conservation measures for par- 
ticular species. Three categories of protected area are defined under the 
Convention: strict namre reser\'e, in which natural resources are totally 
protected; nauonal park, in which wildlife is protected for the benefit of 
the public; and special reserve, in which wildlife is protected but namral 
resources may be harvested. Countries have tended to integrate these 
categories into their respective legislation, using a variety of terms. 




Pi'otccted areas m Africa ivill become increasingly isolated as surrounding land 
IS cultivated. Tins is zvhat happened here around Biomdi Forest Reserve in 
Uganda. Coniferous trees mark the boundary of the reserve. C. Harcourt 

design of those reserves (see Leader-Williams et ai, 1990 for a 
detailed review). For instance, the theory of island biogeography 
suggests that species richness in reserves might be maximised by 
making protected areas as large as possible (Diamond, 1975). 
However, protected areas are only successful insofar as their con- 
tents survive, and attention has now switched to using Population 
Vulnerability Analysis (PVA) to determine what size conservation 
areas need to be to support Minimum Viable Populations (MVPs) 
of species (Soule, 1986a, b). Extinction is considered to be more 
likely for relatively small populations, so it is important that pop- 
ulations contained in protected areas are sufficiently large to min- 
imise the chance of extinction through processes such as genetic 
deterioration (for example, through inbreeding depression) and 
extrinsic catastrophic events. PVA suggests that the exact size of 
MVPs will vary between species and habitats, but in general pop- 
ulations of around 1000 (including non-breedmg individuals) are 
thought to be necessary to sustain most species (Soule, 1986a). 

It is becoming clear that protected areas are often too small to pro- 
tect MVPs of larger species that exist at low densities (Leader- 
Williams el al, 1990), but in most African coimtries opportunities for 
developing vast new protected forest areas are extremely limited. 
Even where protected areas are sufficient to hold MVPs of large 
species, the effective protection of such enormous expanses has often 
proved impossible (see examples above and Leader-Williams 
and Albon, 1988). One important shon-term way of improving 
protection within protected areas is to increase the funding available 
for law enforcement patrols (Bell and Clarke, 1986; Harcoun, 1986; 
Leader-Williams and Albon, 1 988; Parker and Graham, 1989). But the 
long-term survival of Afiica's protected forests ultimately depends on the 
positive support of the people living in and around them. This realisa- 
tion has brought about a dramatic revision of traditional preservationist 
approaches towards wildlife conservation (Bell, 1987; Western and 
Pearl, 1989; Wells et al., 1990). Integration of conservation with local 
development is now seen as essential for maintaining existing protected 
areas. The extension of protected areas to incorporate surrounding 
multiple-use zones is widely believed to be the key to success. 



73 



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The Protected Areas System 



Reconciling Development and Tropical Forest 
Conservation 

The mutual interdependence of conservation and development 
forms the central theme of the World Conservation Strategy, 
launched by lUCN, WWF and UNEP in 1980. This ground- 
breaking initiative defined conservation as 'the management of 
human use of the biosphere so that it may yield the greatest sus- 
tainable benefit to present generations while maintaining its poten- 
tial to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations' 
(lUCN, 1980). Such a pragmatic approach to conservation was 
reiterated by the final report of the World Commission on 
Environment and Development (WCED, 1987) and forms the 
basis for the National Conservation Strategies developed for 
Madagascar, Nigeria and Zimbabwe and those in preparation for 
Guinea-Bissau and Ethiopia. 

The importance of forest conser\'ation to the development pro- 
cess is stressed by the Tropical Forestry Action Plan (FAO, 1985). 
This proposes a number of ways to conserve tropical forests, 
including minimising the damage caused by selective timber 
extraction and reducing demand on remaining forests by improv- 
ing agroforestry and reforestation. These and other measures have 
also been proposed at national level to promote the diversification 
and sustainability of forest use in several Central African countries 
(UlCN, 1990c) and in Uganda (Tabor el al., 1990). 



On a local scale, a key tool for promoting a balance between con- 
servation and resource use is the concept of the Biosphere reserve, 
first launched in 1971 (Table 9.5; Batisse, 1986). Biosphere reserves 
aim to integrate rural development with conservation by establishing 
multiple-use buffer zones around undisturbed core areas of high 
biological diversity. In Ghana, for instance, the proposed conversion 
of a forest reserve to a national park is being accompanied by the 
development of a neighbouring reserve as a multiple-use area where 
local people can harvest game meat and medicinal plants (see case 
study on Kakum and Assin-Attandanso forest reserves below, and case 
studies on projects in Cameroon and Nigeria in chapters 1 3 and 27 
respectively). Similarly, an EEC-funded buffer zone project will pro- 
mote agroforestry and sustained yield charcoal production around 
the Dja Biosphere Reserve in Cameroon. An equivalent approach has 
already proved successful in Burundi, where two community-based 
projects have reduced threats to important forest reserves by com- 
bining improved law enforcement with agroforestry extension pro- 
grammes around the reserves (Wells er al, 1990). 

Other local initiatives seek to provide direct economic incentives 
for the conservation of African forests. For example, in Liberia local 
perceptions of Sapo National Park have greatly improved as a result 
of a WWF-sponsored agriculture project and a development fund 
financed by tourism in the park (see case study in chapter 25). 
Likewise in Madagascar a rural community supported the creation 



Community Involvement in Kakum and Assin-Attandanso Forest Reserves, Ghana 



A community-oriented conservation programme provides the 
focus for converting former timber concession lands in south- 
em Ghana into a national park and wildlife reserve. It is pro- 
posed to transfer the Kakum Forest Reserve (2 1 3 sq. km) and 
the adjoining Assin-Attandanso Forest Reserve (154 sq. km) 
from the Department of Forestry to the Department of Game 
and Wildlife. Local farmers are giving strong and unpreceden- 
ted community support for the proposed national park because 
few tangible benefits have resulted from earlier commercial log- 
ging in the reserves. Under the circumstances local people feel 
that there is everything to gain and nothing to lose from the 
national park development project. 

Despite extensive commercial logging in the reserves, the for- 
est landscape remains largely intact. The diversity of plants 
appears to be quite substantial, and the University of Ghana- 
Legon has begun a floral inventory of the reserves. The fauna 
is rich and varied and includes forest elephants Loxodonta 
africana cyclotis, perhaps nine species of primates, numerous for- 
est antelope (including bongo Tragelaphus eiiryceros, bushbuck 
Tragelaphus scriptus and several duikers), forest buffalo Syiicenis 
caffer nanus, bushpig Polamochoerus parens, giant forest hog 
Hylochoems meinenzhagem, giant flying squirrels and many 
small mammals. Prominent among the many bird species are 
grey parrots Pshtacus eniliacus and three species of hombills, 
including the vulture-sized black-casqued hombill Cerawgymna 
atrata. The Nile monitor lizard Varanus nilolicus is relatively 
common in the reserves, while the hinged tortoise Kinixys sp. 
and many species of frogs and snakes are also present. 

The development programme envisaged for the proposed 
Kakum National Park and Assin-Attandanso Game Production 
Reserve will follow that prescribed for protected and multiple- 
use areas under the Unesco Man and the Biosphere Programme 
model. Management strategies will target watershed protection, 
wildlife resource conservation and rural development, within 



the framework of a UNDP-funded regional development pro- 
ject. Nature tounsm will be integrated with community educa- 
tion and wildlife research to enhance local support. While the 
Kakum Forest Reserve will be developed as a national park, it 
is envisaged that the Assin-Attandanso Reserve will become a 
multiple-use forest. Local community access to important for- 
est resources is proposed through the development of harvest 
schedules for the sustainable use of wildlife, especially locally 
abundant game animals and medicinal plants. An on-site plant 
medicine research scheme is planned. 

A potential source of conflict between local inhabitants and the 
reserves is wildlife damage to surrounding farmlands. Destruction 
of cash and subsistence crops by elephants, antelopes, primates 
and other forest-dwelling wildlife is already substantial. Any 
increase in crop depredation could exacerbate the legitimate con- 
cerns of local farmers and alter the current climate of community 
support. An experimental buffer zone around the reserves will be 
used to try to combat this problem. It is believed that tree planta- 
tions adjacent to the reserve boundanes may act as passive barri- 
ers to elephant movement. The elephants rarely travel more than 
200 m beyond the forest and, unlike other Ghanaian elephants, 
do not eat or otherwise damage cacao trees. Thus the establish- 
ment of cacao and fuel wood plantations along the reserve bound- 
aries should prevent elephants from entering the surrounding 
agricultural landscape. A buffer zone of trees should also help 
maintain forest microclimates within the reserves and mitigate the 
adverse edge effects associated with increased wind and light 
penetration along the forest boundaries. 

Long-term protection of the rich biological diversity of these 
forests will ultimately depend upon the active suppon of local 
people. The goal of this project, therefore, is the protection of 
native forest landscapes and biodiversity for the mutual benefit 
of resident human and wildlife communities. 

Source: Joseph P. Dudley 



75 



The Protected Areas System 



Hunting in Korup National Park, Cameroon 



Hunting and trapping are imponant economic and cultural activ- 
ities which, if correctly managed, could be legitimate sustainable 
uses of Africa's tropical forests. However, little is known about 
the effect on wildlife in forest areas. Research undertaken in and 
around Cameroon's Korup National Park during 1988 sheds 
some light on the problems that will have to be overcome if sus- 
tainable hunting is to play a role in forest conservation. 

Fears were expressed that the gazetting of the park in 1 986 
might cause severe hardship to local communities. Initially it had 
been assumed that local villagers hunted primarily for subsistence. 
However, bushmeat commands high prices in Cameroonian 
towns and cities and it was soon realised that people living around 
Korup hunted more for money than for meat. Although villagers 
earned cash through a wide array of other activities, approximately 
70 per cent of all households were involved in hunting and trap- 
ping, and revenue earned through bushmeat accounted for 56 per 
cent of the villagers' total income. A complete hunting ban would 
therefore have had a serious impact on these communities. 

All of the forest's larger mammals were hunted, except ele- 
phant and buffalo. The species taken most commonly were blue 
and bay duikers {Cephalophus inonticola and C dorsalis), which 
together made up 49.3 per cent of all the animals killed by 
hunters. The brush-tailed porcupine Atheninis afncaims made 
up 13 per cent of the take, followed by two species of primate, 
Preuss's red colobus Procolohiis [badim] pennanti preussi (7.2 per 
cent) and drill Mandrillm leucophaeus (5.7 per cent). The 
remaining 24.8 per cent of the total animal offtake was divided 
between 18 species of mammal and four reptiles. 

It is difficult to draw firm conclusions about the sustainability of 
hunting in Korup since there is no information on live animal den- 
sities. Moreover, estimates for other Afncan forests vary widelv. For 
example, blue duiker densities of 70 per sq. km have been reponed 
for forest in north-east Gabon (Dubost, 1 980) . If densities in Korup 
were similar, annual offtake would be only about 8 per cent, which 
would be sustainable. However, in north-east Zaire, blue duiker 
densities were estimated at only 1 5 per sq. km (Hart and Petrides, 
1987), while the estimated total density of all antelope in forest in 
south-west Gabon was only 0.85 animals per sq. km (Pnns and 
Reitsma, 1989). The total weight of animals hunted (the biomass 

The bay duiker Cephalophus dorsalis u the most commonly 
hunted species iii Korup Natioiici/ Park. A. Dunn 



Table 9.7 Numbers and Biomass of species hunted in Korup 
National Park 




Species 1 


'^stimatt 


d number of 


Estimated Biomass 




animals taken per 


removed per sq. km 




sq. km 


per annum 


per annum 


Cephalophus monticola 




5.76 


26.5 


Cephalophus dorsalis 




5.88 


91.7 


Cephalophus ogilbyi 




0.69 


11.0 


Cephalophus silvicuhor 




0.13 


8.1 


Haemoschus aquaticus 




0.50 


6.3 


Potamochoerus porcus 




0.29 


17.5 


Procolobus [hadiiis] pennanti 


1.71 


16.2 


Mandrillus leucophaeus 




1.34 


16.7 


Cereopithecus nictitaiis 




0.89 


6.2 


Cercopithecus mona 




0.67 


2.2 


Cereopithecus erythrotis 




0.22 


0.6 


Cercocebus torquatus 




0.07 


0.6 


Cereopithecus pogonias 




0.04 


0.2 


Athenints afncanus 




3.03 


8.1 


Others: 








mammals and reptiles 


2.40 


5.1 


Total 




23.62 


217.0 


{Source- Mark Infield) 









offtake) in Korup was estimated at 217 kg per sq. km per year 
(see Table 9.7). Based on a figure of available biomass of approx- 
imately 1050 kg per sq. km in south-west Gabon (Prins and 
Reitsma, 1989), this suggests a 20 per cent harvest in Korup. 
However, over half of the total of animals hunted in the Gabon 
study area was made up of elephants, indicating that the Korup 
offiake may exceed 40 per cent. Without estimates of animal densi- 
ties in Korup, it can only be inferred that present hunting levels 
are likely to be unsustainable. This impression is reinforced in 
more densely inhabited forest areas around the national park, 
where hunting and trapping are still carried out, but where prey 
densities have been so reduced that bushmeat sales are no longer 
economically important to local communities. 

Overhunting in Korup National Park will have a drastic effect 
on the local economy. Reduced stocks of wildlife could mean that 
hunting in the park will rapidly cease to be economically viable - 
as is already the case around its periphery. In the short term, many 
animal species will probably persist despite depletion, provided 
that their habitat remains intact. In the long term, however, the 
collapse of hunting could have severe negative consequences for 
forest biodiversity, since it might increase existing economic pres- 
sures to conven primary forest to intensive cash crop production 
(but see case study m chapter 1 3). 

A good way to resist such pressure is to establish a more sus- 
tainable basis for the local hunting industry in the forests around 
the national park. This would require the development of tech- 
niques for monitoring wildlife populations m forests and for deter- 
mining what level of hunting is indeed sustainable. In addition, 
mechanisms should be developed to enable local communities to 
regulate their own hunting activities. Most importantly, a dra- 
matic rethinking of long-held attitudes is needed if hunting is to 
be turned from a marginal and often illegal activity into an attrac- 
tive rural enterpnse that helps conserve forest biodiversity. 

Source: Mark Infield 



76 



The Protected Areas System 




Tourism as a Conservation Strategy in the Nyungwe Forest, Rwanda 

The Nyungwe Forest Reserve is die largest montane forest block 
in East Afnca, covering about 900 sq. km of south-west Rwanda. 
Mountain gorillas Gonlla gonlla berengei have long attracted visi- 
tors to Rwanda's northern Volcanoes National Park (see case 
study in chapter 1 2). Now a tounsm initiative in Nyungwe, staned 
in September 1988 by the Nyungwe Forest Conservation Project 
(PCFN), financed by US AID and sponsored by Wildlife 
Conservation International, is already drawing 4000 visitors a year. 

The tourism programme, devised by Dr Amy Vedder, provides 
low impact exploitation of Nyungwe while giving the Rwandan 
government an economic incentive to protect the forest. Visitors 
are attracted by the beauty and diversity of the forest and its 
extraordinary variety of animals and plants, with orchids, butter- 
flies, birds and primates being particularly abundant. But 
Nyungwe is also crucial to the well-being of the local population. 
It protects the watershed, regulating stream flow and limiting soil 
erosion so that rivers remain clear downstream. The forest is also 
a source of many natural products, including wood for fuel and 
construction, honey, bamboo, natural ropes, medicinal plants 
and thatching material. 

However, there are enormous pressures on Nyungwe. At the 
beginning of this century forests ran continuously along the 
north-south backbone of western Rwanda, covering nearly one- 
third of the country. By 1990 this had been reduced by nearly 80 
per cent, with only four isolated forest blocks remaining. With pop- 
ulation densities of up to 800 people per sq. km and over 90 per 
cent of the nation depending on farming for a living, the demand 
for land is intense. Hunting pressure in the forest is very high:buf- 
falo are now extinct and elephant, giant forest hog, leopard Panihera 
pardiis and three species of duiker are extremely rare. Valuable tree 
species, most of which regenerate very slowly, risk being overe.x- 
ploited. Thousands of gold panners destroy stream-beds in search 
of the small quantity of gold found in the forest. 

The PCFN tourism programme is located in two areas of 
Nyungwe. The central site is the base for a network of over 25 km 
of trails, primitive campsites and guided visits to see monkeys. The 
western site is a picnic and camping area with the potential for the 
development of monkey visits and trail hiking as well. Initially, 
most visitors were attracted to the forest by the spectacular and 
acrobatic Angola black-and-white colobus monkeys Colobus ang- 
olensis, which live in extremely large groups of up to 400 animals. 
But now about half of the visitors choose to walk one of the scenic 
trails where they may see monkeys and other forest attractions on 
their own. In addition, people may be guided to grey-cheeked 
mangabeys Cercocebus albigena and blue monkeys Cercophhecus nuns. 

The benefits of tourism are considerable. The presence of visitors 
has already reduced poaching pressure and the calls of leopards and 
fiancolins Francolinus sp. are now heard frequenfly in tourist areas. 
Moreover, in addition to foreign and local visitors, national and 
regional government officials (including the President of Rwanda, 
government ministers and the local governor) visit the forest. 

Currently the programme earns about USSI5,000 annually, 
which is more than sufficient to pay Rwandan staff. 
Furthermore, the presence of the project has influenced local 
officials to reflect on the potential for additional tourism in the 
region. Discussions have been held about the possibilities of 
hotels in or near the forest to accommodate visitors who prefer 
not to camp. Other proposed attractions include tea factory 
tours, beaches around Lake Kivu and the possibility of visits to 
see chimpanzees Pan troglodytes in a nearby gallery forest. 



A mownain gonlla Gorilla gorilla berengei female and infant in 
a nest which overlooks the cleared, cultivated land ivluch suironnds 
the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. C. Harcourt 

Clearly tourism alone cannot protect the forest. Its scope is 
too small and there is too little local involvement. That is why 
PCFN emphasises conservation education as well. Local 
people are dependent on forest resources. Since more than half 
the forest will be managed as a multiple-use zone, that use must 
be wise and sustainable. Forest products such as honey, baskets 
and carvings are being marketed, but care must be taken to 
ensure that they are not being overharvested. PCFN aims to 
establish a dialogue with the local population, in which the val- 
ues of the forest and the problems of its conservation and use 
are openly discussed. Secondary schools will be visited to teach 
the students more technical aspects of forest ecology and value. 

A guard force patrols the forest and enforces strict laws. The 
forest has been clearly delineated from farmers' fields by a buffer 
zone of trees planted around its perimeter. As they mature, these 
trees should also supply local people with wood and so reduce 
demands upon the forest. Yet despite its success, Nyungwe's 
conservation programme still lacks some essential components. 
There is no demarcation between the multiple-use area and the 
central protected zone. Local people are not being provided 
with enough alternatives to using forest resources. And all 
money from tourism, except that needed for local salaries, goes 
to central government rather than to local development. It is 
imperative that some of the earnings from tourism directly ben- 
efit the local people, since the responsibility for the long-term 
protection of the forest ultimately rests with them. 

Nevertheless, the strength of tourism as a conservation strat- 
egy is that it draws government attention to the forest as a source 
of foreign exchange. The areas that it touches are immediately 
protected because of the continuous presence of project per- 
sonnel and tourists. But tourism is a fickle business and the con- 
flict that rocked Rwanda may have had lasting effects on tourist 
confidence there. Rwanda could suffer greatly as a result, since 
tourism has become the third highest source of foreign income, 
after coffee and tea. A hard lesson must be learnt: tourism in 
good times can lend credence to forest conservation, but ulti- 
mately, such conservation depends on local people and their 
perceived value of the forest. 

Source: Katherine Offutt 



77 



The Protected Areas System 

of the Beza-Mahafaly Special Reserve in exchange for direct bene- 
fits such as repairs to an important access route, improved irrigation 
and the building of a school (Wells cr a/., 1990). 

Several general lessons can be gleaned from current attempts to 
integrate conservation with rural development (Sayer, 1991). 
First, the results of such efforts depend greatly on local social and 
economic factors. Initiatives to encourage sustainable resource use 
are frequently most successful where people have previously gained 
little from a forest (see case study on Kakum and Assin-Attandanso 
forest resen'es) and where human population density is relatively low. 
For example, hunting and trapping are important activaties in Afnca 
(Marks, 1989), yet high population densities may mean that existing 
harvests from West African forests such as Korup are unsustainable 
(see case study on hunting in Korup National Park). In contrast, 
hunting levels in less densely populated areas of Central Africa, such 
as Lope in Gabon or Salonga in Zaire, may be sustainable. 

Second, it is possible to encourage an array of income-generat- 
ing activities within any one forest. For instance, wildlife-related 
tourism is widely regarded as an important and sustainable source 
of foreign exchange for developing countries (see Table 9.1, the 
case study on tourism in the Nyungwe Forest and the case study 
in chapter 12). Yet tourism is extremely vulnerable to the political 
instability which besets many African countries (see case study on 
Nyungwe Forest and chapter 25). To ensure that such external 
factors do not eliminate all direct economic incentives for conser- 
vation it is important to diversify' the use of resources within forests. 

Third, active local involvement in planning lies at the core of suc- 
cessfijl integration of development and conservation (Bell, 1987; 
Sayer, 1991). Thus the direct management of wildlife resources by 
and for local people is seen as pivotal to the success of such initiatives 
as the Communal Area Management Plan for Indigenous Resources 
(CAMPFIRE) in Zimbabwe (Manin, 1986; Cole, 1990). Similar 
attempts to involve local communities in the management of protected 
forests include the involvement of villagers in marking the boundary 
of the Kilum Mountain Forest Reserve in Cameroon (Stone, 1990) 
and the decision of local people to create the Beza-Mahafaly Special 
Reserve in south-western Madagascar (Vt'ells el ai, 1990). 



A final problem faces many projects which stress utilitarian rea- 
sons for protecting forests: the direct economic benefits of conser- 
vation may often prove to be less than those of convening forests to 
other forms of land use, particularly where governments are of neces- 
sity concerned with immediate rather than long-term financial 
returns (Bell, 1987; Bodmerw a/., 1990; cf Peters era/., 1990). The 
fate of Africa's forests must not be dictated simply by the vagaries of 
economics; therefore, two imponant factors must be acknowledged 
and integrated into conservation planning. First, local people - as 
well as foreigners - often support conservation for aesthetic rather 
than economic reasons (Collar, 1986; Bell, 1987). This non-utili- 
tarian motivation may help counterbalance the economic incentives 
for destroying forests, in which case it is essential that conservation 
schemes ensure local communities have continued access to pro- 
tected areas (Bell, 1987). Second, many of the more indirect bene- 
fits of protected forests, such as climate regulation and species con- 
seri'ation, are enjoyed at international level, while most of the costs 
are incurred by local people. Thus it is perhaps appropriate that any 
net costs of protecting forests should be met by the international 
community, through mechanisms such as debt relief (Ayres, 1 989; 
Cartwright, 1989). 

Conclusion 

The present coverage of tropical forests within Africa's protected 
area network is generally inadequate. Many critical habitats are 
poorly represented in protected areas and there is a clear need to 
extend the system to include additional sites. Moreover, existing 
protection within nominal protected areas is often ineffective. This 
is partly because the costs of forest conservation currently fall dis- 
proportionately on nearby communities, leading to antagonistic 
relations between protected areas and local people. Reversing this 
pattern, by means of integrating conser\-ation with small-scale rural 
development, is therefore essential if local support for forest pro- 
tection is to be increased and the existing protected area network 
expanded. Given the rapidly increasing rate of forest loss across 
the continent, conser\'ation policies developed in the next few years 
will in large part determine the fate of Africa's tropical forests. 



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Figure 9.2 Distribution of Conservation Areas designated under International Conventions and Programmes. 



World Heritage Sites 

Cameroon 

1 Djo Founol Reserve 
Cenird African Republic 

2 Manovo-Gounda-St Floris National 
Park 

Core d'tvoire 

3 Toi Nalional Park 

4 Comoe Nalionol Pork 

5 Mount Nimbo Siritt Nature Reserve 
HHopia 

6 Simen Notional Pork 
Guinea 

7 Mount Nimbo Strict Nature Reserve 
Madagascar 

8 Bemofoho Natural Reserve 
Malawi 

9 loke Molowi Notionol Pork 
Senegal 

10 Djoudj Notionol Pork 

11 NIokoloKobo Notionol Pork 
Tanzania 

12 Ngorongoro Conservation Area 

13 Serengeli National Pork 

14 Selous Gome Reserve 

15 Mt Kilimonioro Nalionol Pork 
Zaire 

16 Virungo Notionol Park 

17 Gofombo Notionol Pork 

18 KohuziBiego Notional Pork 
19Salonga Notional Park 
Zimbabwe 

20 Mono Pools National Pork, Sopi 
and Chewore Saion Areas 

21 Victono Foils 

Biosphere Reserves 

Benin 

22 Pendjori Biosphere Reserve 
Cameroon 

23 Wain Notionol Pork 

24 Senoue Notionol Pork 

25 Djo Founol ond forest Reserve 
Central African RepubGc 
26BosseLoboye Forest 

27 Bommgui Bongoran Conservolion 
Areo 

Congo 

28 Odiolo Notional Pork 

29 Dimoniko Biosphere Reserve 
Cote d'lt/oire 

30 Toi National Pork 

31 Comoe Notionol Pork 
GiAoa 

32 Ipossa-Mokokou Siosphere 
Reserve 

Ghana 

33 Bio Notnnol Park 




Guinea 

34 Mount Nimho Biosphere Reserve 

35 Massif du Ziomo Biosphere 
Reserve 
Kenya 

36 Mount Kenyo Biosphere Reserve 

37 Mount Kulol Biosphere Reserve 

38 Molindi-Wolomu Biosphere 
Reserve 

39 Kiunga Morine Nolure Reserve 
Madagascar 

40 Mononoro Nord Biosphere Reserve 
Nigeria 

41 Omo Strict Noturo! Reserve 
Rwanda 

42 Part notionol des Voltons 
Senegal 

43 Foret clossee tie Sambo Dio 
44DehoduSoloum 

45 Pore notional du Niokolo-Kobo 
Sudan 

46 Dinder Notionol Park 

47 Rodom Nalionol Pork 
Tanzania 

48 Lake Monyoro Notional Park 

49 Serengeli-Ngorongoro Biosphere 
Reserve 



Ghana 

57 Owabi 
Guinea-Bisiou 

58 Logoo de Culodo 
Kenya 

59 Lake Nokuru Notionol Park 
Senegal 

60 Djoudj 

61 Bossindu Hdioel 

62 Deho du Saloum 

63 Gueumbeul 
Uganda 

64 Lake George 



Numbers in bold indicole the reserves with closed moisl forest within them. 



79 



The Protected Areas System 



Hamilton, A. C. and Bensted-Smith, R. (eds) (1989) Forest 

Conservatioti in the East Usambara Alountaiiis, Tanzania. lUCN, 

Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 392 pp. 
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31-46. Benirschke, K. (ed.). Springer-Verlag, New York, USA. 
Harrison, J., Miller, K. and McNeely, J. (1982) The world cover- 
age of protected areas: development goals and environmental 

needs. Ambio 11: 238-45. 
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Department of State, Washington, DC, USA. 
Howard, P. C. (1991) Nature Conservation in Uganda's Tropical Forest 

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Conservation for Sustainable Development. lUCN/UNEP/WWF, 

Gland, Switzerland. 
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of Protected Areas in Sustaining Society, pp. 47-53. McNeely, 

J. A. and Miller, K. R. (eds). Smithsonian Institution Press, 

Washington, DC, USA. 
lUCN (1987) Centres of Plant Diversity. A Guide and Strategy for 

their Conservation. lUCN Threatened Plants Unit, Kew, UK. 
lUCN (1989) Status of Multilateral Treaties in the Field of 

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lUCN (1990) 7990 United Nations List of National Parks and Protected 

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Cambridge, UK. 374 pp. 
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( 1 990) Designing protected areas to conserve natural resources. 

Science Progress, Oxford. 74: 189-204. 
MacKinnon, J. and MacKinnon, K. ( 1 986) Review of the Protected 

Areas System in the Afiotropical Realm. lUCN/UNEP, Gland, 

Switzerland. 259 pp. 
MacKinnon, J. R., MacKinnon, K., Child, G. and Thorsell, J. 

(1986) Managing Protected Areas in the Tropics. IUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland. 284 pp. 
Marks, S. A. (1989) Small-scale hunting economies in the tropics. 

In: Wildlife Production Systems, pp. 75-95. Hudson, R. J., Drew, 

K. R. and Baskin, L. M. (eds). Cambridge University Press, 

Cambridge, UK. 
Martin, R. B. ( 1 986) Communal area management plan for indige- 
nous resources (Project CAMPFIRE). In: Conservation and 

Wildlife Management in Africa, pp. 279-95. Bell, R. H. V. and 

McShane-Caluzi, E. (eds). US Peace Corps. 
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Developing and Using Economic Incentives to Conserve Biological 

Resources. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 236 pp. 
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Conservation and Development: the Role of Protected Areas m 

Sustaining Society. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, 

DC, USA. 838 pp. 
Monfort, A. (1990) Rapport Annuel du Projel Toiinsme et Pares 

Nationaux. ORTPN, Kigali, Rwanda. 
Oates, J. F. (1986) Action Plan for Afncan Pnniate Conservation: 

1986-1990. lUCN/SSC Pnmate Specialist Group. Stony Brook, 

New York, USA. 



Parker, I. S. C. and Graham, A. D. (1989) Men, elephants and 

competition. Symposium Zoological Society of London 61: 241-52. 
Peters, C. M., Gentry, A. H. and Mendelsohn, R. O. 

(1989) Valuation of an Amazonian rainforest. Nature 339: 655-6. 
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Worth.' Economic Contributions of Wild Plants and Animals to 

Developing Countries. Earthscan, London, UK. 92 pp. 
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an A&ican equatorial rain forest. Journal of Animal Ecology 58: 

851-61. 
Rylands, A. B. (1990) Prionty areas for conservation in the 

Amazon. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 5: 240-1 . 
Sayer, J. A. (1991) Rainforest Buffer Zones; Guidelines for Protected Area 

Managers. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 
Sayer, J. A. and Smart, S. N. (1989) Biological diversity and tropical 

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agement: can rates of natural treefalls help guide us? Ori'-V 18: 

96-101. 
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Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 189 pp. 
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Scarcity and Diversity. Sinauer, Sunderland, USA. 584 pp. 
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84: March/April 1990. WWF, Gland, Switzerland. 
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(1984) Tropical Ram Forests: Ecology and Management. 

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the future of Uganda's tropical forests. Oiyx 24: 208-14. 
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Centrale. UICN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 124 

pp. 
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November 1990. 
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University Press, Oxford, UK. 260 pp. 



Authorship 

Andrew Balmford and Nigel Leader- Williams of the Large Animal 
Research Group, Department of Zoology, Cambridge University, 
and Michael Green, WCMC, Cambridge, with contributions from 
J. P. Dudley, Ghana, Katie Offert, Uganda, Mark Infield, WWF- 
International, Gland, Gil Isabirye-Basuta, Kibale, Uganda and 
Alison Rosser, Cambridge. 



80 



10 A Future for Africa's 
Tropical Forests 



Introduction 

Africa's rain forests are the product of a historv' of extreme climatic 
variation and of human influences dating back thousands of years. 
The conservation movement today tends to focus on the dramatic 
impact of industrial logging or the pervasive degradation caused 
by shifting cultivation, but these must be seen in the context of 
much more fundamental problems, both within Africa and in the 
world at large, which have far-reaching impacts upon the conti- 
nent's forests. Nature conservation in Africa is not just be a ques- 
tion of restricting the activities of poor peasants or defending the 
boundaries of isolated national parks against incursions by loggers. 
Conservation must be part of a broader process of managing the 
whole landscape. A balance must be achieved between the pro- 
duction of the goods and services needed to improve people's 
material well-being and the protection of the forests and soils and 
their wealth of biological diversity so that the welfare of future gen- 
erations is assured (Poore and Sayer, 1991). 

Prehistory of Africa's Forests 

Most of Africa's forests are young on the geological time scale. 
During the periods of glacial advance in the northern hemisphere 
in the Pleistocene the climate of Africa was drier and cooler (see 
chapter 2). Deserts were more extensive and most of the area that 
today enjoys a climate suitable for rain forests was dominated by 
drier deciduous forests and woodlands. 

At the height of the last glacial advance, around 18,000 BP, rain 
forests in Africa were restricted to a number of 'refugia' isolated 
from one another by areas that provided an unsuitable habitat for 
most rain forest species. As the ice retreated in the north, the forests 
spread out from these refugia and the present composition of the 
forests is the result of colonisation and i» sitii evolution that has 
occurred during the period of relative climatic stability of the last 
10,000 years. The Pleistocene climatic changes are believed to have 
caused more drastic reductions of the forests in Africa than of those 
in Southeast Asia and South America and this is one explanation 
for the relative poverty of plant and animal species in African forests. 

Throughout the past 10,000 years, humans have had a major 
influence on the African scene. Hunter-gatherer communities were 
ubiquitous. Through their use of fire they began to convert the dry 
forests in areas of seasonal rainfall into the savannas and grassy 
plains that are characteristic of present day Africa. The develop- 
ment of agriculture and the introduction, 3000-4000 years ago, of 
cattle, sheep and goats had major impacts upon the drier parts of 
the continent (Deshler, 1963). 

One thousand years ago the drier areas with more seasonal rain- 
fall were already occupied by humans with advanced societies, 
complex social structures and trade relations that covered long dis- 
tances (Fage, 1969). In contrast, the humid forest regions provided 
a less attractive environment for such societies. Some indigenous 



crops of rather low productivity, such as yams, have been culti- 
vated there for 4000-5000 years (Shaw, 1978), but in general the 
climate was unhealthy for both introduced cereal crops and live- 
stock, and for dense, sedentary human populations. At the time of 
the first European ventures to the coasts of sub-Saharan Africa in 
the 16th century, the forests of the high rainfall areas had been lit- 
tle modified and their sparse human populations still subsisted 
largely by hunting and gathering (Aubreville, 1949). This changed 
rapidly when the Portuguese introduced South American maize, 
manioc, plantains and yams. These soon became the staple diet in 
the forest zones of Africa (Fage, 1969) and provided the stimulus 
for colonisation and agricultural expansion in the forests, which 
began in the 16th century and continues today. 

European Influence on Forest Depletion 

Subsequently, the development of trade with the outside world has 
had a profound and often devastating impact both on the people 
of Africa and their forest resources. The slave trade was the stim- 
ulus for the evolution of militaristic states in coastal Africa and for 
the radical redistribution of population throughout the continent. 
This promoted a mixing of ethnic groups and the almost total 
depopulation of large areas. 

In the 19th century the slave trade was superseded by trade in 
commodities, mainly those produced m the forest belt. Ivory was 
one of the most imponant and its collection provided a major 
incentive for humans to penetrate the forests of West Africa. Gold 
and other commodities were also obtained from the forest zone 
and in the middle of the 19th century the first timber from West 
Africa was exported to Europe (Manin, 1991). Cacao and palm 
oil were among the earlier agricultural commodities to be traded 
from the forest belt and the prospects for great expansion of trade 

Podding cacao hcati^ iii ihe Aihaini region of Ghana. T> and I Gordon 




81 



A Future for Africa's Tropical Forests 

in these and other products provided the stimulus for the estab- 
hshment of European colonies in the 1890s. The perennial border 
conflicts, secessionist movements and racial tensions which under- 
mine the stability' of modern Africa are a legacy of the arbitrary 
decisions taken at a conference in Berlin in 1894/5, at which the 
European powers divided up the continent. 

During the early years of the 20th century, colonial infrastruc- 
tures were put in place throughout most of Africa. Where rivers 
and footpaths had earlier provided the only trade routes, roads and 
railways were rapidly established to give access to even the most 
remote regions. At this time much of the forest had already suf- 
fered some disturbance from farmers and hunters. Indeed virtu- 
ally all the forests of the continent had probably been cleared at 
some time in the preceding centuries for temporary cultivation. But 
the vegetation had recovered rapidly from these small, localised 
disturbances and the total extent of the closed broadleaved forest 
was probably little reduced from its climatic maximum. However, 
the stage had been set for much more rapid change. 

The change came from two sources. Foreign based enterprises, 
operating under the umbrella of colonial regimes, developed plan- 
tations of palm oil, rubber, cacao, coffee and a variety of lesser 
crops. These occupied a tiny area of forest land, employed fairly 
large numbers of people and were environmentally quite benign. 
Foreign enterprises also began to harvest the prime quality hard- 
woods from the forests (see chapter 7). Demand in Europe was for 
the decorative, deep red African mahoganies (Kliaya spp. and 
Entandrophragma spp.) used for furniture manufacture. At first only 
a few species were selectively felled and only from the most accessi- 
ble forests near the coast. In parallel to this, improvements in health 
services and agriculture ftielled the great increase in population 
which continues to accelerate today. Most of these people depended 
on extensive agriculture and they began to have an increasing impact 
on the forest (see chapter 6). However, forest and soil degradation 
was still much more pronounced in the seasonal rainfall savannas 
around the periphery of the rain forests, while the rate of clearance 
of the forests themselves was relatively low. 

Development and the Environment 

By the Second World War much of the forest of western and east- 
ern Africa and Madagascar had already been penetrated and frag- 
mented but the Central African forests were still mostly intact and 
large areas of forest persisted in the region of Liberia, Cote d'lvoire 
and Ghana. This was still the situation as the countries of Africa 
attained their independence in the late 1950s and 1960s. 
Independence coincided with the wide availability of improved med- 
ical services and the introduction of drugs to treat the major endemic 
diseases of the forest zone, most notably malaria. This led to an accel- 
eration in the rate of population increase. At the same time, mobile 
chain saws and heavy vehicles made the logging and cleanng of the 
forests much easier and economic growth in Europe provided a 
rapidly expanding market for utility grade timber and commodity 
crops from the forests. As a result of these pressures, the rain forests 
of Africa have suffered more radical change in the past 30 years than 
they had throughout their 1 0,000 year post-glacial historv'. 

Massive aid projects in the post-colonial period concentrated on 
maximising growth in the economies of the newly independent 
countries. Large investments were made in improving the infra- 
structure, especially roads, modernising agriculture and creating 
industrial employment. In many countries, this resulted in the 
opening up of forest areas to logging and agricultural colonisation. 
The proliferation of livestock in the Sahel caused desertification, 
which was exacerbated by drought. The latter probably related to 
deforestation in the equatorial zones from which the Sahel receives 



its rainfall. The result was a large scale movement of people from the 
Sahel to more rapidly developing regions in the forest zones. For 
instance, the population of Cote d'lvoire increased from three 
million at independence in the 1960s to over 12 million in 1990, 
largely as a result of immigration from Mali and Burkina Faso. The 
immigrants found ready employment in the industrial plantations 
in the forest zone of Cote d'lvoire and their friends and families sup- 
plemented their incomes by practising low grade agriculture, all at 
the expense of the forest. In consequence, Cote d'lvoire has suffered 
the highest deforestation rate of any African country (see chapter 1 6). 

The population of Africa continues to grow more rapidly than 
that of any other major region. Any strategy for the future of the 
forests has to take account of the fact that the population will 
double in the next two to three decades. Pressures on resources 
will inevitably increase, not only from this growth in numbers of 
people but from the increasing per capita consumption of goods 
that will occur with development. Understanding the demographic 
processes underlying the growth can help us to plan for its impact 
on forests. Figure 10.1 shows the relation of predicted urban and 
rural growth for a selection of forest and non-forest countries. It 
shows that in the medium term most growth will occur in urban 
areas and that in the most important forest countries relatively lit- 
tle growth will occur in rural areas. However, even urban popula- 
tions place demands upon forest resources which, as chapter 6 
points out, will have to be met by the intensive exploitation of small 
areas of land. The problems of shifting cultivation could be solved 
if more people obtained their food from intensive agriculture out- 
side the forest zone. However, this will happen only if the general 
political and economic state of the continent becomes more robust. 

In the early post-colonial days the environment was seen as an 
inexhaustible resource while governments saw the alleviation of 
poverty as the primary development objective. Investments were 
judged on their contribution to gross national product and projects 
on their internal rate of return. The prevailing attitude was that 
nature conservation was primarily an aesthetic concern and could 
be dealt with by establishing national parks to protect the big game 
animals which were a valuable resource for tourism (Newby and 
Sayer, 1976 and see chapter 9). 

When forest services were set up in the early colonial days the 
colonial powers modelled them on those of India and Europe. 
Their principal role was to conserve and regulate the use of the 
forest resource. Their senior staff, in both anglophone and fran- 
cophone Africa, were known as 'conservators'. But after indepen- 
dence the tendency was to see forest departments as agents for 
development, not for conservation. Conservation projects did not 
produce an immediate measurable economic return and were not 
attractive to aid agencies. Aid focused on the more 'commercial" 
components of forestry. In order to support commercial forestry 
efficiently, and make neat, self-contained development-oriented 
projects, many aid agencies promoted the establishment of 
autonomous forest enterprises to manage logging, plantations, for- 
est inventories, planning and the like. This made sense to the aid 
donors; their projects were easy to manage and the results were vis- 
ible and measurable. But for the forest departments of Africa it was 
a disaster. At a time when pressures on the forests were unprece- 
dented they found their best staff deserting them, lured away by 
the attractions of air-conditioned offices, vehicles, liberal travel 
expenses and trips to overseas conferences, which were available 
to those who worked with the project-supported autonomous 
forest enterprises. In other words, just as government institutions 
were weakened by the difficult transition from colonial adminis- 
tration to independence, so forest departments were emasculated 
by aid agencies in their search for operational efficiency. 



82 



A Future for Africa's Tropical Forests 

Figure 10.1 Predicted growth in total population and in urban and rural populations in selected African countries, 1990-2025 



Coled'lvoire 



Population (Millions) 



/ — 71 



(=^ 



'i^Miii 



T ^ — I ' — I ^ — I ' — r — r 

1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 
Year 




Urban ^ Rural Q Tolol 



Guineo 



Population (Millions) 




"I — I — r ' — I ' — I r- 

1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 
Year 



Urban ^ Rurol Q Total 



Tanzania 



Population (Millions) 




Z_7 



1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 
Year 



Urbon ^ Rural Q Total 



Gabon 



Population (Millions) 



P^ 




1990 1995 



2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 
Yeor 

Urban ^ Rural Q Totol 



Madagascar 



Population (Millions) 




T — — I — — I — — I — — 1 — — I — — I — — r 

1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 
Year 



Urban ^ Rural Q Total 



ZoTre 



Population (Millions) 



1^=71 




T I I I I I~ 

1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 
Year 



Urban ^ Rural Q Total 



(Source: lUCN Population and Resource Programmes, based on UN Population Reference Bureau data) 



83 



A Future for Africa's Tropical Forests 




Charcoal being made near Analamazaoira (Perinet) Special Reserve in Madagascar for urban markets. This is a senous threat to forests, 
particularly when large cities are located nearby. J. Sayer 



While government forestry institutions were seriously weakened 
in the Africa of the 1960s and 1970s, the nature conservation pro- 
grammes of these same countries generally fared somewhat better. 
Nature conservation, and especially national parks, were given 
strong political support in post-colonial Africa. Africa's wildlife was 
appreciated as a rich part of the heritage of the newly independent 
countries. President Nyerere ofTanzania captured the spirit of this 
new African commitment to conservation in his 1961 Arusha dec- 
laration (lUCN, 1963), which committed African states to con- 
serve nature and natural resources. The 1968 Algiers Convention 
on Nature Conservation was one of the first pan-African agree- 
ments in the post-colonial era and has done much to shape con- 
servation legislation and programmes in many African countries. 
The cultural significance of wildlife and wild nature for many 
Africans was captured by President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, 
who, while addressing the 1975 lUCN General Assembly at 
Kinshasa, referred to Zaire's national parks as 'the cathedrals of 
my country'. At this same meeting, President Mobutu proposed a 
World Chaner for Nature; this was adopted by the General Assembly 
of the United Nations in 1982. But the real successes of conservation 
in Africa occurred on the ground. Wildlife and national parks depart- 
ments attracted dedicated, enthusiastic people, both Africans and 
foreigners, who struggled, often in difficult and dangerous condi- 
tions, to establish an African protected areas network unequalled 
elsewhere in the world. At first, parks and reserves were located 
mainly in the savanna zones where they protected the conspicuous 
plains game which became a major tourist attraction. However, there 
has been significant growth in forest protected area in post-colonial 
times. Some of the largest and most important rain forest national 
parks in Central and West Africa - the Salonga and Maiko in Zaire, 
Korup in Cameroon - were established in the 1970s and 1980s. 

Initially, outside support for conservation programmes came 
mostly from non-governmental organisations and foundations. It 
concentrated on maintaining the status quo and principally on con- 
serving plains game. In the early 1960s, WWF launched a major 
campaign to save the rhino and North American and British foun- 
dations gave support to research facilities in the savanna habitats 
of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Queen 
Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. At the same time, primatolo- 
gists, ornithologists and botanists were beginning to unravel the 



fascinating biology of some of Africa's forested areas. Landmark 
studies were undertaken on the gorillas of eastern Zaire (Schaller, 
1963) and chimpanzees in western Tanzania (Goodall, 1988). 
Imponant programmes of ecological research were launched in the 
Tai National Park, Cote d'lvoire (Guillaumet el al. , 1 984) and the 
Makokou Reserve in Gabon. The latter site is now one of the best 
documented tropical research sites and a Unesco (1987) review 
lists many hundreds of papers on the biology of its forests. 

Many of the conservation programmes in the forests were the 
result of the initiatives taken by these researchers. Dedicated indi- 
viduals struggled to establish protected areas often with only lim- 
ited financial support from international conservation bodies. 
Africa entered the 1980s with a good network of national parks and 
equivalent reserves in the forest zones. Several of these areas were 
under threat from poaching and encroachment but on the whole 
their integrity was being maintained and, in many countries, the 
networks were being extended. At the same time the forests out- 
side protected areas were under greater threat than at any time in 
their history and the ability of governments to counter these threats 
was weak and declining. At this time the development assistance 
agencies began to recognise that environmental degradation, espe- 
cially in Africa, was depleting the soil, water and forest resources 
upon which all of their development programmes depended 
(WCED, 1987). It was soon accepted that environmental conser- 
vation should be a major component of any aid programme, and 
some of the more progressive agencies are beginning to acknowl- 
edge that support for conservation may be the single most impor- 
tant contribution that they can make to improving the quality of 
life of the people of developing countries. 

Now conservation has become a priority for the official develop- 
ment agencies, the amounts of money available are vastly increased. 
People who have observed the variable record of big aid projects in 
achieving development are worried about the impact of these heavy- 
handed interventions on embryonic conservation programmes. 

The Present State of Africa's Forests 

Assessments of the extent of tropical forests in Africa remains sur- 
prisingly imprecise. Even nations such as Congo and Gabon in 
which the forests represent a major economic resource are poorly 
mapped. Nevertheless, more information has emerged over the 



84 



A Future for Africa's Tropical Forests 



past decade or so and the maps in the following chapters represent 
a significant advance on the estimates available until now. In the 
past, even when maps were available, they were often not accom- 
panied by accurate measures of forest cover. Remote sensing and 
computerised Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have signif- 
icantly improved accuracy and accountability. GIS has enabled us 
to overlay the boundaries of chosen forest types from maps of 
potential vegetation on to maps of forest cover, thus differentiat- 
ing moist from dry forests and true forests from woodlands and 
thicket. Many earlier maps have depicted forests in areas which 
would, using White's (1983) categories, be classed as woodlands 
in this Atlas (see Table 1.2 on p. 14). 

Table 10.1 is a compilation of tropical rain forest cover statis- 
tics denved from maps in this Atlas and from FAG (1988). Where 
country maps were based on especially weak sources we have 
refrained from inferring a figure from them but, in many instances 
it has proved possible to find more recent information than that for 
1980 given in FAG (1988). While palaeoclimatological study has 
demonstrated that the forest boundar\- is ever moving (see chapter 
2), it is interesting to compare present forest area with the extent of 
the forests in the relatively recent past. White's map of Africa's veg- 
etation (1983) permits calculation of the 'original' e.xtent of tropical 
rain forests (as defined in Table 1.2) and the data derived from an 
analysis of this map, already carried out by MacKinnon and 
MacKinnon ( 1 986), are presented in Table 1 0. 1 . It should be noted 
that White (1983) described a huge area of mixed forest and savanna 
woodland encircling the main forest block. There remains consid- 
erable uncertainty concerning the true extent of forest within that 
region and the 'original' forest areas given here are maximised (i.e. 
they assume these mosaic areas were once all forested). 



The aggregate figures of FAG (1988) suggest that only 36 per cent 
of the original closed canopy broadleaved forest remained in 1980. 
The maps reproduced in this Adas indicate that even less than this 
may now remain. A definite figure cannot be given as no informa- 
tion is available for most of southern and eastern Africa and the 
Indian Ocean islands. Note that we have not included dry deciduous 
or riverine forests on our maps, whereas these are generally incor- 
porated into FAG's figures (see chapter 1 ) . The Atlas maps are based 
upon our interpretation of the most recent and best available forest 
cover maps (see chapter 1 for an explanation of how the maps were 
produced). However, the quality of the source maps was vanable 
and often the definitions of what the maps represented were difficult 
to interpret. The most striking picture to emerge from Table 10.1 is 
that only nine countries have more than one-fifth of their onginal 
forest cover remaining. Two of these, Reunion and Sao Tome and 
Principe are small islands, while in Somalia, much of what FAG 
classifies as forest is not what would be considered as such here (see 
chapter 17). Table 10.1 shows that as many as 1 7 countries have less 
than 10 per cent of their original forest cover remaining. 

A regional examination of the data shows that the patterns of 
deforestation differ widely. The whole of West Afnca, except 
Liberia, has suffered severe deforestation, with only about 11-12 
per cent remaining overall. The statistics in this Adas are generally 
sound for this area being drawn in the main (Sierra Leone to 
Nigeria) from a UNEP/GRID dataset derived from AVHRR satel- 
lite imagery, checked against related Landsat scenes and by venfi- 
cation on the ground (Paivinen and Witt, 1989). The three most 
westerly countries, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and The Gambia, were 
not included in the UNEP/GRID dataset but it is only the first of 
these for which a good map could not be obtained. 



An oil palm plantation in Cameroon. Industrial plantations can employ large numbers of people on small areas of land and thus relieve the 
pressure on natural forests. J. Saver 




85 



Table 10.1 Original extent of closed canopy moist forest in Africa, compared with remaining extent as judged from the maps in this 
Atlas and FAO (1988) statistics for 1980 





Approximate original 




extent of closed 




tropical moist forests 




(sq. km)' 


West Africa 




Benin 


16,800 


Cote d'lvoire 


229,400 


Gambia 


4,100 


Ghana 


145,000 


Guinea 


185,800 


Guinea-Bissau 


36,100 


Liberia 


96,000 


Nigeria 


421,000 


Senegal 


27,700 


Sierra Leone 


71,700 


Togo 


18,000 


Total 


1,251,600 


Central Africa 




Burundi 


10,600 


Cameroon 


376,900 


CAR 


324,500 


Congo 


342,000 


Equatorial Guii 


lea 26,000 


Gabon 


258,000 


Rwanda 


9,400 


Sao Tome and 


Principe 960* 


Zaire 


1,784,000 


Total 


3,132,360 


Southern Africa 




Angola 


218,200 


Malawi 


10,700 


Mozambique 


246,900 


Zimbabwe 


7,700 


Total 


483,500 


Eastern Africa 




Djibouti 


300 


Ethiopia 


249,300 


Kenya 


81,200 


Somalia 


21,200 


Sudan 


27,000 


Tanzania 


176,200 


Uganda 


103,400 


Total 


658,600 


Indian Ocean Islands 


Comoros 


2,230* 


Mauritius 


1,850* 


Reunion 


2,500* 


Seychelles 


270* 


Madagascar 


275,086 


Total 


281,936 


Grand Total 


5,832,396 



Remaining extent of moist forests (sq. km) 

From atlas maps Publication date of FAO (1988) data 

(unless otherwise maps for 1980, closed 

stated); moist forests broadleaved forests 

470 

44,580 

650 

17,180 

20,500 

6,660 

20,000 

59,500 

2,200 

7,400 

3,040 

182,180 



150 

179,200 

35,900 

213,400 

12,950 

205,000 

1,010 

560 

1,056,500 

1,704,670 



Percentage of moist forest remaining 



424 


1989-90 and 1979 


27,464 


1989-90 


497 


1985 


15,842 


1989-90 


7,655 


1989 


nd 


1990 


41,238 


1989-90 


38,620 


1989-90 


2,045 


1985 


5,064 


1989-90 


1,360 


1989-90 


140,209 




413 


1984 


155,330 


1985 


52,236 


1985 


nd 


- 


17,004^ 


1960 


227,500' 


- 


1,554 


(nd) 


299 


1985 


,190,737^ 


1990' 


1,645,073 




nd 




320^ 




nd 




80' 





nd 
nd 
nd 
nd 
nd 
nd 
7,400' 



nd 
nd 
nd 

nd 
41,715' 



1985 



29,000 
1,860 
9,350 
2,000 

42,210 



10 
27,500 

6,900 
14,800 

6,400 
14,400 

7,500 
77,510 



160 

30 

820 

30 

103,000 

104,040 

2,110,610 



ip data 


From FAO (1988) 




data 


2.5 


2.8 


12 


19.4 


12.1 


15.6 


10.9 


11.8 


4.1 


11.0 


nd 


18.4 


43 


20.8 


9.2 


14.1 


7.4 


7.9 


7.1 


10.3 


7.6 


16.9 


11. 5t 


14.6 


3.9 


1.4 


41.2 


47.5 


16.1 


11.1 


- 


62.4 


65.4- 


49.8 


85.2 


76.8 


16.5 


10.7 


31.1 


58.3 


66.7' 


59.2 


59.0t 


54.4 


_ 


13.3 


3.0 


17.4 


- 


3.9 


1.0 


26.0 


- 


8.7 




3.0 


- 


11.0 


- 


8.5 


- 


69.8 


- 


23.7 


- 


8.2 


7.2 


7.3 


- 


11.8 




7.1 


- 


1.6 


- 


32,8 


- 


11. 1 


15.2 


37.4 


- 


36.9 



36.2 



To calculaie onginal extent, it has been assumed that the islands were once completely forested. MacKinnon and MacKinnon (1986) give no figures for these areas. 

In both Central and West Africa, no data are available for one country, therefore the extern of forest originally in that country has been subtracted from the total original extent 

in the region before these percentages were calculated. 

Taken from VChiie ( 1 983) as in MacKinnon and MacKinnon ( 1 986) except for Gabon and Liberia where the figures for original forest extent given by MacKinnon and MacKinnon 

are too high (see explanation on Table 9.6). 

Including 7,945 sq. km of degraded lowland rain forest. 

Figure from UICN (1990). 

Figure from Dowsett-Lemaire (1989, 1990). 

Figure supplied by T. Muller {in Int.). 

TTie digital dalaset was completed in 1990 but is based on 1988 data. 

Including 86,547 sq. km of degraded forest. 

Figure from Howard (1991). 

This figure has been calculated by adding Green and Sussman's (1990) figure for eastern rain forest to that calculated for mangroves from Map 26. 1 plus an estimated 400 sq. 

km for forest remaining in the Sambirano region. 

No data available. 



(nd) No date. 



86 



A Future for Africa's Tropical Forests 



In the Central African region, data have been drawn from a range 
of sources. The Zaire map is very recent, being derived from a NASA 
interpretation of 1988 AVHRR imagery Qustice and Kendall, in 
press). Neighbouring Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Congo are less 
well served and maps presented here are drawn from a very old 
source, a generalised one and a personal communication respectively. 
Cameroon and Central African Republic have excellent published 
maps of forest cover which are reasonably up to date. The overall pat- 
tern in Central Africa is one of huge tropical rain forests especially in 
the many inaccessible areas which are poorly served by road, rail or 
river. About 59 per cent of the original cover remains in this region. 

In eastern Africa, data are generally of a poorer quality. However, 
the total forest area in the eastern region is relatively small and errors 
are of little significance to the overall African picture. Much of the 
original forest area has been lost, less than 10 per cent remaming. 

The southern borders of the rain forest block are also poorly served 
with accurate maps. For Zimbabwe and Malawi only sketch maps 
have been provided in the Atlas but an accurate figure for forest 
extent has been given in the text and incorporated in Table 10.1. It 
has not been possible to find recent maps for Angola and 
Mozambique and the political situation within those countries means 
that area of forest cover can only be guessed at. Table 10.1 suggests 
between 5 and 8 per cent of forest remains, mainly in Angola. 

The only Indian Ocean island with significant remaining forest 
cover is Madagascar and for this country, information has been used 
from a recent report by Green and Sussman (1990) with some addi- 



tional data supplied by other sources. Madagascar and the other 
Indian Ocean islands are very important for their endemic species, 
but although they used to be completely forested, very little now 
remains. FAO ( 1 988) suggests that about 1 5 per cent of forest remains 
on the Mascarene islands and the map in this Adas indicates that 
Madagascar's forests also cover only 1 5 per cent of their original extent. 
In general terms the reduction in forest extent has been greatest in 
those countries which had the least forest to start with. This is partly 
because conditions for forest in these countries were marginal, but 
also because population growth has been highest in non-forest areas. 

The Tropical Forestry Action Plan 

This new concern for the forest environment was manifested in the 
Tropical Forestry Action Plan (WRI, 1985). This was prepared by 
NGOs, the Worid Bank and UNDP and adopted by the representa- 
tives of tropical forest countries at a meeting of the FAO Committee 
on Forest Development in the Tropics in late 1985 (FAO, 1985). It 
committed donors to double their suppon for forestry over the fol- 
lowing five years and singled out ecosystem conservation and forestry 
in rural development as major targets for investment. 

By early 1991, a total of 38 African countries had committed 
themselves to the TFAP process. Five African countries had com- 
pleted the TFAPs and were beginning implementation; four had 
completed TFAP sector reviews but had not begun implementa- 
tion; 2 1 were developing TFAPs and eight were in the early stages 
of negotiarions with donors (Table 10.2). In addition the countries 



Table 10.2 Status of TFAPs in Africa, at February 1991 

Country Planning phase annplclai Forest Sector review completed 

Angola 

Burkina Faso 

Burundi 

Cameroon X 

Cape Verde 

CAR 

Chad 

Congo 

Cote d'lvoire 

Equatorial Guinea 

Ethiopia 

Gabon 

Gambia 

Ghana X 

Guinea X 

Guinea-Bissau 

Kenya 

Lesotho 

Liberia 

Madagascar 

Malawi 

Mali 

Mauritania X 

Mauritius 

Mozambique 

Niger 

Nigeria 

Rwanda 

Senegal 

Sierra Leone X 

Somalia X 

Sudan X 

Tanzania X 

Togo 

Uganda 

Zaire X 

Zambia 

Zimbabwe 



Forest Sector revieiu undenvav 



X 
X 

X 
X 

X 
X 
X 
X 

X 



X 
X 
X 

X 

X 



X 
X 
X 
X 
X 



Interest expressed 
X 



X 
X 



TOTALS 

(Sourc,;; lUCN dala, 1991) 



21 



87 



A Future for Africa's Tropical Forests 




Forest regcneratwn can occur ifcU\7rcd areas arc subscqiiciitly KiulismrhcJ. 
This is the trace of the mam Itombwe road, abandoned m the early 
1960s, but still marked on maps of Zaire as a major road. R. Wilson 

of CILSS (Inter-Governmental Committee for Drought Relief in 
the Sahel), SADCC (Southern Africa Development Cooperation 
Conference) and IGADD (Inter-Governmental Authority on 
Drought and Development in Eastern Africa) had all embarked 
upon regional TFAPs. 

The results of the national TFAPs have been variable. Critics 
claim that they have not recognised the need for change and that 
they are simply advocating more of the same forestry assistance 
policies that have not succeeded in the past. The failure to address 
the needs of forest dwelling peoples in TFAPs and the neglect of 
biological diversity issues have come in for strong criticism 
(Colchester and Lohmann, 1990; Winterbottom, 1990). 
Advocates of TFAPs point out that having a process in place to 
increase and harmonise aid to forestry in 38 countries in five years 
is a considerable achievement. They note that governmental 
forestry institutions are conservative and bringing about change in 
these organisations is inevitably a slow process. In reality some 
TFAPs have been more effective than others, reflecting the fact 
that some countries are more amenable to change than others. 
Cameroon chose the path of expanded industrial logging and 
received very little donor support, whereas Tanzania adopted a 
strong social forestry and conservation line and was well sup- 
ported by the donors. 



There can be no doubt that the TFAP has given forest conser- 
vation and sustainable forestn,' a much higher profile in the pro- 
grammes of both governments and aid agencies. For all its possi- 
ble shortcomings, the TFAP has certainly done far more good than 
harm. In addition, it now exists as a process and can provide a 
framework for greater policy change and greater conservation 
efforts in the future. 

Other Initiatives 

Several other international initiatives are now focusing attention 
on the forests of Africa. National Conservation Strategies (NCS) 
are in preparation or exist in ten African countries and are under 
consideration in a further eight (Table 10.3). The NCS aims 
mainly to help countries re-examine their own policies on the 
conservation and sustainable development of natural resources. 
Environmental Action Plans (EAPs) are being prepared by the 
World Bank for 19 countries (Table 10.4). They are intended to 
identify' projects for grants or loans to address important conser- 
vation issues. The EAP for Madagascar has already resulted in sig- 
nificant investments in forest conservation. 

The new Global Environment Facility (GEF) being administered 
by the World Bank, UNDP and UNEP has USS250 million avail- 
able for grants and soft loans to support biological diversity; 
Cameroon is one of six African countries which has been identified 
as a recipient. US$25 million is available for consen'ation schemes 
in Cameroon's forests. Several bilateral agencies have pledged 
greatly increased support for forest conservation and forestry. The 
question that still remains largely unresolved is how all the new 
money can be spent effectively to ensure a future for Africa's forests. 

The Future for Protected Areas 

The first law of conservation must be to ensure the integrity of 
existing protected areas and bring other sites of known value for 
biological diversity under conservation management. This means 
more trained and equipped forest managers and guards, more 
political support for protected areas and more measures to recon- 
cile conflicts between protected areas and the traditional users of 
the forests. Several projects exist in Africa which attempt to pro- 
tect critical forest sites while using development assistance to help 
local communities meet their needs in a sustainable, non-destruc- 
tive way. Notable examples are the WWF Korup Project in 
Cameroon (see case study in chapter 13), the lUCN East 
Usambaras project in Tanzania (see case study in chapter 17), and 
the Wildlife Conservation International (WCI) gorilla conserva- 
tion project in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda (see case 
study in chapter 12). 

Much work has also been done to identify important sites of bio- 
logical diversity. Many national studies are cited in the country 
chapters of this Atlas. A regional study of the Central African for- 
est block carried out by lUCN on behalf of the EEC identified 104 
sites in the seven countries of that region (UICN, 1989). Less than 
half of these sites have any consen'ation management at present. 
Considerable information on other sites is given in several lUCN 
publications (MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 1986; Stuart et al., 
1990 etc). Figure 10.2 and Table 10.5 show forest sites in Africa 
which are known to have special importance for conserving bio- 
logical diversity. Many others will eventually be identified. If all of 
these known sites, covering perhaps 10-15 per cent of Africa's 
forests, could be managed in a natural or near-natural state for bio- 
logical diversity conservation, then the immediate future of most 
of Africa's forest flora and fauna would be safe (Sayer and Stuart, 
1988; Sayer et al., 1990). Supporting protection of these sites could 
be the best way for the aid agencies to help conservation. 



A Future for Africa's Tropical Forests 



Table 10.3 


Status 


f National ( 


2onsei^ation S 


trategies, at February 1991 


Cowiin' 




ConipL 


eted 


In Preparanon Under Discussion 


Angola 










Benin 










Botswana 




X 






Burkina Paso 










Burundi 










Cameroon 










Cape Verde 










CAR 








X 


Chad 








X 


Comoros 










Congo 










Cote d'lvoire 










Djibouti 










Equatorial Gumea 








Ethiopia 








X 


Gabon 










Gambia 










Ghana 








X 


Guinea 










Guinea-Bissau 








X 


Kenya 








X 


Lesotho 










Libena 










Madagascar 




X 






Malawi 










Mali 








X 


Mauritania 








X 


Mauritius 










Mozambique 










Namibia 








X 


Niger 








X 


Nigeria 




X 






Reunion 










Rwanda 










Sao Tome and Principe 








Senegal 










Seychelles 










Sierra Leone 










Somalia 










South Africa 




X 






Sudan 










Swaziland 










Tanzania 








X 


Togo 








X 


Uganda 










Zaire 










Zambia 




X 






Zimbabwe 




X 






TOTALS 




5 




4 8 


Table 10.4 


Status of Environmental Action PI 


ans, at Februai^ 1991 


Counrr^' 




Completed 


Under Preparation 


Benin 










Burkina Paso 








X 


Burundi 










Congo 










Cote d'lvoire 










Gambia 










Ghana 








X 


Guinea 








X 


Guinea-Bissau 










Lesotho 






X 




Madagascar 






X 




Mali 










Mauritius 






X 




Nigeria 






X 




Rwanda 








X 


Seychelles 






X 




Somalia 










Togo 










Uganda 










TOTALS 






5 


4 



Suspended 



(Source: lUCN data, 1991) 

No Progress 
X 
X 

X 
X 
X 
X 



X 
X 

X 
X 

X 
X 



X 
X 
X 
X 



X 
X 



X 
X 



X 
X 
X 



X 
X 



24 



(Source: lUCN data, 1991) 



Under Discussion 
X 

X 
X 
X 
X 



X 

X 
X 

10 



89 



A Future for Africa's Tropical Forests 

However, if these protected areas are merely islands of conserva- 
tion in a totally transformed or degraded landscape then their long- 
term future will not be secure (Sayer and \X'hitmore, 1991). Many 
existing protected areas are small and their plant and animal popula- 
tions are isolated. TTiese small, fragmented populations are prone to 
extinction from a variety of chance factors and from genetic deterio- 
ration resulting from inbreeding (Whitmore and Sayer, 1992). 
Conservation objectives can be met only if very extensive areas out- 
side parks and reserves are retained under some sort of forest cover. 
The conservation value of these forests depends upon how closely they 
resemble the native forests of the region, how diverse they are and how 
many indigenous species they contain. The better these criteria are 
fulfilled, the better the forests will act as buffers, protecting the core 
conservation areas in the national parks and equivalent reserves. 

This is where development aid, the TFAP, the EAPs, and the 
GEF have their greatest role to play. They must support uses of 
forest which are compatible with biological diversity conservation. 
This may involve sustainable management of forests for timber, 
but it can also be management for many other food, fibre or medic- 
inal products. Many of these products are already more valuable 
to forest dwelling peoples than timber whose value accrues mainly 
to urban entrepreneurs or foreign companies. 



Within Africa, some regions are in much greater need of con- 
servation action than others. In the central forest block of 
Cameroon, Gabon, Congo and Zaire there is still time for careful 
zoning of forest land. Zoning plans should establish areas for pro- 
tection, for timber production and for intensive agricultural devel- 
opment. In coastal West Africa, eastern Africa and Madagascar the 
destruction of the forests has advanced so far that a major effort 
should be made to conserve every remaining patch of native for- 
est. But population pressure is such that it will not be possible to 
give total protection to these forests. Their conservation will only 
be achievable if it involves their careful, sustained use to produce 
the various products and services needed by people. Aid agencies 
have a major role to play in supporting development of such uses. 

There have been innumerable studies of the plants and animals 
of Africa's forests. Their biological diversity is far better docu- 
mented than that of Asia or South America. Virtually all the coun- 
tries of the region have made a political commitment to conserve 
their fauna and flora. The richer countries of the north want to help 
Africa conserve its forests. The knowledge and resources are now 
available and the time has come to translate the many plans and 
strategies into practical action. It is against this that our descen- 
dants will judge the success or failure of our conservation efforts. 



Figure 10.2 Critical forest sites in the Afrotropical region, listed in Table 10.5 




90 



A Future for Africa's Tropical Forests 



Table 10.5 Critical forest sites in the Afrotropical region 

Dt'scnpnon 
national park 



Sites 

DJIBOUTI 
1 Day 



SOMALIA 

2 Daloh 

ETHIOPIA 

3 Neghelli region 

KENYA 

4 Lower Tana Riverine Forests 

5 Sokoke 

6 Shimba hills 

7 Taita hills 

8 Kakamega and Nandi 

TANZANIA 

9 Usambara mountains 

10 Pugu hills 

11 Nguru mountains 

12 Ukaguru mountains 

13 Uluguru mountams 

14 Uzungwa mountains 

15 Southern highlands 

MOZAMBIQUE 

16 Mount Namuli 

17 Mount Chiperone 

18 Inhamintanda 

19 Dondo 

20 Gorongosa mountains 

MALAWI 

21 Mt Mulanje 

22 Mt Chiradzulu 

23 Mt Soche 

24 Mt Thyolo 

25 Nyika Plateau 

ZIMBABWE 

26 Vumba highlands 

27 Chimanimani hills 

28 Chirinda forest 

SOUTH AFRICA 

29 Ngoye forest 

ANGOLA 

30 Bailundu highlands 

31 Amboin region 

32 Northern Angolan region 

33 Cabinda enclave 



RWANDA 






34 


Nyungwe 






40 


Volcanoes 






UGANDA 






35 


Impenetrable 


(Bwindi) 


36 


Semliki 






37 


Kibale 






38 


Rwenzori 






39 


Mt Elgon 






BURUNDI 






41 


Bururi 







forest reserve 



unprotected 



part in reserves 

forest reserve, part nature reserve 

national reserve 

national forest 

forest reserve, part nature reserve 



national 
national 
national 
national 
national 
national 
national 



forest 
forest 
forest 
forest 
forest 
forest 
forest 



reserves 
reserves 
reserves 
reserves 
reserves 
reserves 
reserves 



?unprotected 

?unprotected 

unprotected 

unprotected 

unprotected 



protection forest reserve 
protection forest reserve 
protection forest reserve 
part protection forest reserve 
national park 



botanical reserves 
national park 
botanical reserve 



controlled by KwaZulu government 



unprotected 
unprotected 
unprotected 
unprotected 



reserve, part national park 
national park 



forest reserve, part natural reserve 
forest reserve, pan animal sanctuary 
forest reserve, part natural reserve 
forest reserve 
forest reserve 



natural forest reserve 



SUDAN 




180 


Imatong Hills 


unprotected 


ZAMBIA 




181 


Nyika Plateau 


national park 


ZAIRE 




42 


Azandes 


hunting reserve 


43 


Garamba 


national park 


44 


Mondo 


hunting reserve 


45 


Gangala-na Bodio 


hunting reserve 


46 


Maika-Penge 


hunting reserve 


47 


Ep, 


hunting reserve 


48 


Bill Uere 


hunting reserve 


49 


Okapi (Ituri) 


unprotected 


50 


Rubi-Tele 


hunting reserve 


179 


Abumonhazi 


unprotected 


51 


Semliki 


unprotected 


52 


Mt Hoyo 


reser\'e 


53 


Virunga 


national park 


54 


Masako 


reserve 


55 


Kongolo 


reserve 


56 


Yangambi 


biosphere reserve 


57 


Maiko 


national park 


58 


Tongo 


unprotected 


59 


Rutshuru 


hunting reserve 


60 


Area west of L. Kivu 


unprotected 


61 


Shushu 


unprotected 


62 


Irangi 


unprotected 


63 


Kahuzi-Biega 


national park 


64 


Maniema 


unprotected 


65 


Itombwe 


unprotected 


66 


Uvira 


unprotected 


67 


Mt Kabobo 


unprotected 


68 


Luama 


hunting reserve 


69 


Lomami-Lualuba 


unprotected 


70 


Kundclungu 


national park 


71 


Lufira 


biosphere reserve 


72 


Basse Kando - Bena Mulumbu 


hunting reserve 


73 


l,ubudi-Sampwc 


hunting reserve 


74 


Upemba 


national park 


75 


Kyamasumba-Kolwezi 


unprotected 


76 


Bushimae 


hunting reserve 


77 


Swa-Kibula 


hunting reserve 


78 


Mangai 


hunting reserve 


79 


Salonga 


national park 


80 


Luo 


unprotected 


81 


Lomako 


unprotected 


82 


Ngiri 


unprotected 


83 


Eala 


botanical garden 


84 


Botende 


reserve 


207 


Lake Tumba 


unprotected 


85 


Mai-Mpili 


unprotected 


86 


Bombo Lumene 


hunting reserve 


87 


Ngaenke 


unprotected 


88 


Nsele 


unprotected 


89 


Kisantu 


botanical garden 


90 


Luki 


biosphere reser\'e 


91 


Mangroves 


unprotected 


CONGO 




92 


Parte d'Oie 


unprotected 


93 


Tsieme 


unprotected 


94 


Lefini 


faunal reserve 


95 


Bangou 


unprotected 


96 


Loudima 


faunal reserve 


97 


Dimonika/Londcla-Kayes 


biosphere reserve 


98 


Conkouati 


faunal reserve 



A Future for Aprica's Tropical Forests 



99 Boko-Songo 

100 Tsoulou 

101 Sees Ogooue-Zanaga 

102 Nyanga Nord 

103 Mt Fouari 

104 Nyanga-Sud 

105 Mt Mavoumbu 

106 Bo we de Kouyi 

107 Kelle-Oboko il 

108 M'boko 

109 Lekoli-Pandaka 

110 Odzala 

111 Likouala and Lac Tele 

112 Nouabale 

113 Ibenga-Motaba 

1 1 4 Mt Nabemba 

GABON 

115 Leconi 

116 Soungou-Milongo 

117 Moukalaba-Dougoula 

118 Mts Doudou 

119 Sette-Cama 

120 Ozoun 

121 VC'onga-Wongue 

122 Ogooue-Onangue 

123 La Lope 

124 Foret des Abeilles 

125 Mingouli 

126 Ipassa-Makokou 

127 Mts de Belinga 

128 Grottes de Belinga 

129 Djoua 

130 Minkebe 

131 Tchimbele 

132 Sibang 

133 Mondah 

134 Akanda 



unprotected 
faunal reserve 
unprotected 
faunal reserve 
faunal reserve 
faunal reserve 
hunting reserve 
unprotected 
unprotected 
hunting reserve 
faunal reser\'e 
national park 
unprotected 
unprotected 
unprotected 
unprotected 



unprotected 

unprotected 

reserve 

unprotected 

reserve 

unprotected 

reserve 

national park 

reserve 

unprotected 

unprotected 

reserve 

unprotected 

unprotected 

unprotected 

unprotected 

unprotected 

unprotected 

unprotected 

unprotected 



161 Mts Bakossi 

162 Mt Nlonako 

163 Bonepoupa 

164 Douala-Edea 

165 Campo 

166 Korup 

167 Mt Koupe 

168 Barombi Mbo 

169 Rumpi mountains 

170 Mokoko 

171 Mt Cameroun 

EQUATORIAL GUINEA 

172 Mongomo 

173 Acurenam-Ns 

174 Rio Ntem-Rio Uolo 

175 Mont Alen 

176 Monte Mitra 

177 Bata Rio-Uolo 

178 Rio Muni Estuary 
135 Annobon 

138 Caldera de Luba 

139 Pico Basile 

SIERRA LEONE 

182 Gola 

183 Freetown Peninsula 

184 Loma Mountains 

LIBERIA 

185 Sapo 

186 MtNimba* 

187 Grand Gedeh County/Grebo 

188 Lofo-Mano 
* shared with Guinea and Cote d'lvoire 

GUINEA 

208 Fouta Djalon Plateau 



unprotected 
unprotected 
forest resen'e 
faunal reserve 
faunal resen-e 
national park 
protected by local taboo 
forest reser\'e 
part forest reserves 
forest reserve 
part forest reserve 



unprotected 

unprotected 

protected 

protected 

protected 

unprotected 

protected 

protected 

protected 

protected 



forest reserves 
forest reserve 
forest reserve 



national park 

national forest and nature reserve 

national forest 

national forest 



pan biosphere resen'e 



SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE 

136 Sao Tome 

137 Principe 

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC 

140 Bangassou 

141 Kotto remnants 

142 Kaga-Bandoro remnants 

143 Basse-Lobaye 

144 Ngoto and Mbaere-Modingue 

145 Dzanga-Sangha 

146 Nana remnants 

CAMEROON 

147 Lobeke 

148 Boumba Bek 

149 Nki 

150 Dja 

151 Mbam and Djerem 

152 Tchabal Mbabo 

153 Mt Oku 

154 Bonepoupa 

155 Mt Manengouba 

156 Bayang Mbo 

157 Mawne 

158 Takamanda 

159 Nta Ali 

160 Ejagham 



unprotected 
unprotected 



unprotected 

unprotected 

unprotected 

biosphere reserve 

?unprotected 

?unprotected 

unprotected 



faunal reserve 
unprotected 
unprotected 
faunal reserve 
national park 
unprotected 
protected by 

prefectural orders 
forest reserve 
unprotected 
forest reserve 
forest reserve 
forest reserve 
forest reserve 
forest reserve 



COTE DIVOIRE 

189 Tai-N'Zo 

GHANA 

190 Bia 

191 Nin-Suhien 

NIGERIA 

192 Okumu 

193 Obudu Plateau 

194 Stubbs Creek 

COMOROS 

195 Mt Karthala 

MADAGASCAR 

196 Montagne d'Ambre 

197 Tsaratanana massif 

198 Marojejy massif 

199 Masoala peninsula 

200 Ankarafantsika 

201 Zahamena 

202 Perinet-Analamazaotra 

203 Ranomafana 

204 Andohahela 

205 Zombitse 

206 Analabe 

(Source: lUCN dala, iWl) 



national park and faunal reserve 



national park 
national park 



forest reserve 
forest reseri'e 
forest reserve 



unprotected 



national park and special reserve 

natural reser%e 

natural reserv'e 

classified forest 

natural reserve 

natural reser%e 

special reserve 

classified forest 

natural reser\'e 

classified forest 

special resen-e 



92 



A Future for Africa's Tropical Forests 



References 

Aubrc\-ille, A. (1949) CUinats, Form er Desemficalwn de I'Afnque 

Tropicak. Societe d'Editions Geographiques, Maritimes et 

Coloniale, Paris, France. 
Colchester, M. and Lohmann, L. (1990) The Tropical Forestry 

Action Plan: Wliat Progress? World Rainforest Movement, 

London, UK. 
Deshler, W. (1963) Catde in Africa, distribution, types and 

problems. Geographical Reviezv 53: 52-8. 
Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989) The flora and phnogeography of the 

evergreen forests of Malawi. I: afromontane and mid-altitude 

forests. Bulletin dujardin Botanique National de Belgique 59: 3-131. 
Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1990) The flora and phytogeography of 

the evergreen forests of Malawi. II: lowland forests. Bulletin du 

Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 60: 9-7 1 . 
Page, J. D. (1969) A History of West Africa. Cambridge 

University Press, Cambridge, UK. 
FAO (1985) Tropical Forestry Action Plan, Committee on Forestry 

Development in the Tropics. FAO, Rome, Italy. 
FAO (1988) An Interim Report on the State of Forest Resources in 

the Developing Countries. FAO, Rome, Italy. 
Goodall, J. (1988) The Chimpanzees of Gombe. Belknap/Harvard 

Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. 
Green, G. M. and Sussman, R. W. (1990) Deforestation history 

of the eastern rain forests of Madagascar from satellite images. 

Science 2'^%■. 212-15. 
Guillaumet, J. L., Conturier, G. and Dosso, H. (1984) Recherche 

et Amenagement en Milieu forestier Tropical Humide; le Projet Tai 

de Cote d'lvoire. Document Technique MAB No. 15. Unesco, 

Paris, France. 
Howard, P. C. (1991) Nature Conservation m Uganda's Tropical Forest 

Reserves. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 330 pp. 
lUCN (1963) Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in 

Modem African States. lUCN new series No. 1 . lUCN, Morges, 

Switzerland. 
MacKinnon, J. and MacKinnon, K. (1986) Reviezv of the Protected 

Area System in the Afrolropical Realm. lUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 
Manin, C. (1991) The Rainforests of West Africa, Ecology, Threats 

and Conservation. Birkhauser, Basel, Boston, London. 
Newby, J. E. and Sayer, J. A. (1976) Wildlife, National Parks, 

Tourism and Recreation. Paper presented at a consultation on the 

role of forestry in a rehabilitation programme for the Sahel, 

CILSSAJNSO/FAO, Dakar, Senegal. 
Paivinen, R. and Witt, R. ( 1 989) The Methodology Development 

Project for Tropical Forest Cover Assessment in West Africa. 

Unpublished report. UNEP/GRID, Geneva, Switzerland. 



Poore, D. and and Sayer, J. A. (1991) The Management of 

Tropical Aioist Forest Lands: Ecological Guidelines. 2nd edition. 

lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 
Sayer, J. A. and Stuart, S. N. (1988) Biological diversity and 

tropical forests. Environmental Conservation 15(3): 193-4. 
Sayer, J. A., McNeely, J. A. and Stuart, S. N. (1990) The con- 
servation of tropical forest vertebrates. In: Vertebrates in the 

Tropics. Peters, G. and Hutterer, R. (eds), pp. 407-19. Museum 

Alexander Koenig, Bonn, Germany. 
Sayer, J. A. and Whitmore, T. C. (1991) Tropical moist forests: 

destruction and species extinction. Biological Conservation 55: 

199-213. 
Schaller, G. B. (1963) The Mountain Gorilla, Ecology and 

Behaviour. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA. 
Shaw, T. (1978) Nigeria, its Archaeology and Early History. 

Thames and Hudson, London, UK. 
Stuart, S. N., Adams, R. J. and Jenkins, M. D. 

(1990) Biodiversity in Sub-Saharan Africa and its Islands: 

Conservation, Management and Sustainable Use. Occasional 

Papers of the lUCN Species Survival Commission No. 6. 

lUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 
UICN (1989) La Consen^ation des Ecosystemes forestiers dAfrique 

Centrale. UICN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 
UICN (1990) La Conservation des Ecosystemes forestiers du Gabon. 

Base sur le travail de C. Wilks. UICN, Gland, Switzerland and 

Cambridge, UK. 215 pp. 
Unesco (1987) Makokou, Gabon. Unesco, Paris, France. 
WCED (1987) Our Common Future. World Commission on 

Environment and Development. Oxford University Press, 

Oxford, UK. 
White, F. (1983) The Vegetation of Africa: a descriptive memoir to 

accompany the Unesco/AETFAT/UNSO vegetation map of Africa. 

Unesco, Paris, France. 356 pp. 
Whitmore, T. C. and Sayer, J. A. (1992) Tropical Deforestation 

and Species Extinction. Chapman and Hall, London, UK. 
Winterbottom, R. (1990) Taking Stock, The Tropical Forestryi 

Action Plan after Five Years. The World Resources Institute, 

Washington, DC, USA. 
WRI (1985) Tropical Forests, A Call for Action. Parts I-III. World 

Resources Institute, Washington, DC, USA. 



Authorship 

Jeff Sayer at lUCN, Gland, Switzerland with contributions from 
Claude Martin and Francis Kasisi of WWF-International, Gland, 
Jeff McNeely of lUCN and Martin Jenkins, Cambridge, UK. 



93 



PART II 



11 Benin and Togo 



BENIN 

landareo 1 10,620 sq. km 

Population (mid- 1 990) 4 7 million 

Population growth rote in 1 990 3 2 per tent 

Population projected to 2020 117 million 

Gross national product per capita ()988) USS340 

Rain forest (see mop) 424 sq km 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1 980)' 470 sq km 

Annual deforestation rote (1981-5)' 12 sq km 

Industrial roundwood production! 262,000 cu m 

Industrial roundwood exportst nd 

Fuelwood and charcoal production! 4,738,000 cu. m 

Processed wood production! 1 1 ,000 cu. m 

Processed wood exports! id 



TOGO 

Landareo 54,390 sq km 

Population (mid- 1 990) 3.7 million 

Population growth rote in 1990 3 6 per cent 

Population projected to 2020 9 9 million 

Gross national product per capita ( 1 988) US$370 

Rain forest (see mop) 1 360 sq. km 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1 980)' 3040 sq km 

Annual deforestation rote (1981-5)' 21 sq km 

Industrial roundwood production! 1 83,000 cu m 

Industrial roundwood exports! nd 

Fuelwood and charcoal! 683,000 cu m 

Processed wood production! 5000 cu. m 

Processed wood exports! nd 

■ FAO 11988) 

t 1989 dole from FAO 1 1 99 1 1 




A long history of intense human activity, couplecd with a relatively dry climate, meant that most of the closed forests of both 
Benin and Togo had already been lost when colonial administrations were imposed late in the 19th century. Now only tiny 
relict forest patches remain and the flora and fauna of both countries are seriously endangered. 



Introduction 

Benin and Togo are small, elongated countries that lie in the area 
where savannas have for a long time interrupted the forests which 
bordered the rest of the West African coast. This interruption in 
the forests, the so-called Dahomey Gap, may result directly from 
the dry climate (cold sea currents create an area of low rainfall 
along the 150 km coastline), or possibly from the concentration of 
human activity in an area where the drier conditions favour agri- 
culture (Robbins, 1978). Benin, the larger of the two countries 
with an area of 112,620 sq. km, lies between 6° 15' and 12°25'N 
and between 0°40' and 3°45'E. It is bordered by Nigeria to the east 
and by both Niger and Burkina Faso in the north. Its western 
neighbour, Togo, covering an area of only 56,790 sq. km, lies 
between latitudes 6° 10' and 11°10'N and longitudes 0°4'W and 
1°40'E. Ghana is on its western border. 

In Togo, the sandy coastal plain rises gently until the 200 m 
contour is reached where a chain of mountains (Chaine de Togo) 
enters the country from the west and crosses the interior obliquely. 
This same chain also crosses Benin (Chaine de I'Atakora), reach- 
ing an altitude of around 650 m; a bit lower than in Togo where 
the highest peak is about 1 000 m. In Benin the coastal plain is bro- 
ken by the Lama Depression, a swampy clay plain between 
Abomey and Cotonou, as well as by a number of other river val- 
leys. In the north of both countries, the land surface dips down 
again to the broad valley of the Pendjari River. 

The coastal areas of the Dahomey Gap receive less than 1000 
mm of rainfall, and their sandy soils may never have supported 
closed forest. Further inland, rainfall rises somewhat but never 
exceeds 1 500 mm, and there is a marked dry season. The dry, dusty 
Harmattan wind blowing from the Sahara now seems to reach fur- 
ther south in the dry season, a phenomenon associated with 
drought and deforestation in the Sahel. Temperatures in the south 
are relatively constant throughout the year with daily maxima and 
minima close to 34''C and 22"C. In the north, daytime tempera- 
tures can reach as high as 43''C and fall to below 10°C at night. 



In both countries, most people live in the coastal zone; indeed, in 
Togo, population density rises to 300 inhabitants per sq. km near 
the coast compared to five people per sq. km inland (FAO/UNEP, 
1981). Around 60 per cent of the people in Benin and nearly 80 per 
cent of those in Togo live in rural areas. The population growth rate 
in both countnes is more than 3 per cent, slightly higher in the more 
densely populated Togo (with a mean density of 68 people per sq. 
km) than in Benin (42 inhabitants per sq. km). 

The Dahomey Gap was once occupied by powerful African 
kingdoms. Later, a succession of commercial and colonial settle- 
ments from Europe was installed on the coast. England, Holland, 
Portugal, France and Germany all established trading posts, with 
slaves and ivory the main commodities. When the European 
powers established the boundaries of their colonies in the 1890s, 
Germany acquired Togo, while the present-day state of Benin, 
then known as Dahomey, was included in French West Africa. 
After the First World War, Togo was placed under British and 
French administration. In 1956, the eastern part of Togo passed 
to the French and the western part joined the Gold Coast, now 
Ghana. 

After independence in 1960 the countries took different paths. 
The intellectual Beninois enjoyed a remarkable succession of 
coups, finally settling for the Marxist-Leninist regime of Matthieu 
Kerekou in a 1972 military takeover, and adopting the name 
People's Republic of Benin in 1975. Togo took a more pragmatic, 
market-oriented, pro-western path and, aided by the export of rich 
phosphate deposits, enjoyed a degree of economic prosperity 
exceeding that of several of its neighbours whose territories are 
more richly endowed with mineral and agricultural resources. 

Neither country has contained extensive closed evergreen 
forests in recent times but the riparian strips and isolated patches 
of more humid forest are the habitat of a variety of forest animals 
and plants and still contribute significantly to both countries' wood 
requirements. 



97 



Benin and Togo 

The Forests 

The predominant vegetation of both Benin and Togo was origi- 
nally a dense semi-evergreen or deciduous forest. Small islands of 
more evergreen types occurrred on moist soils and in narrow strips 
of riparian forest along the rivers. 

Many of the small patches of closed forest now remaining in oth- 
erwise intensively cultivated landscapes, are considered sacred and 
are protected by strong local traditions. None of these sacred for- 
est patches covers more than 5 sq. km and most are less than 1 sq. 
km. The largest remaining natural forest area is the Lama Forest 
in south-central Benin. This covers an area of about 50 sq. km to 
the south of the city of Abomey. The forest grows on very heavy 
clay soils which are waterlogged in the rainy season and thus 
unattractive to farmers. Even so, it is much reduced from the orig- 
inal 163 sq. km forest reserve gazetted in 1946. Forest trees in the 
Lama Forest Reserve include Tnplochilon sclewxylnii, Annans 
ajricana, Milicia exceha, Afzelia afncana, Ceiba penlandra, and 
Diospyws mespilifonms (FAOAJNEP, 1981). 

TTie other forest fragments in both countries contain these 
species together with the West African mahogany Khaya grandifo- 
liola, and species such as Cola grandifolia, Ceiba penlandra and 
species ofCelris, Holoptelea, l^ilex and others more commonly asso- 
ciated with the savanna zone. The original forests of Togo and 
Benin are described in more detail in Aubreville (1937). 

Most of the forest patches occur between 7' and 9°N, roughly 
between Savalou and Bassila in Benin and between Kpalime and 
Fazao in Togo. However, where topography and soils are suitable a 
few fragments persist up to 11°N and relict populations of forest 
species such as Geoffrey's black-and-white colobus monkeys Colobus 
polvkomos vellerosus existed in such areas at least until recently. 

The Precambrian mountain chain running north-east from 
Kpalime in Togo and extending as the Atakora range in northern 
Benin has some local impact on climate and suppons relict patches 
of forest with submontane characteristics. The finest examples of 
these lie at altitudes of 800-900 m on the Danyi plateau and on the 
Togo, Agou and Haito mountains. Some of the best preserved of 
these forests are on steep, rocky- hillsides, unsuitable for cultivation. 
Chimpanzees Pan iwglodyles were said to persist in some of these 
areas until the 1970s. 

Mangroves 

Coastal currents have built up extensive sand bars along the shores 
of both countries. These protect brackish lagoons which are quite 
extensive in Benin. Small areas of mangrove exist in these lagoons 
and around the estuaries of the Mono and Oueme rivers. Map 11.1 
indicates that 69 sq. km remain in Benin, while none is shown in 
Togo. The mangroves are subject to considerable illegal hunting 
and fuelwood gathering and are under serious threat. Small pop- 
ulations of sitatunga Tragelaphus spekei occurred, at least until 
recently, and manatees Trichechus senegalensis may still survive in 
small numbers in remote parts of the lagoons (Sayer and Green, 
1984). Although not important at the regional level, the mangroves 
are important in preventing coastal erosion and are significant 
nature conservation sites at the national level. 

Forest Resources and Management 

In 1980 FAG estimated that in Benin only 470 sq. km or 0.4 per 
cent of national territory remained under natural cover of closed 
broadleaved forest, while in Togo it was estimated that 3040 sq. 
km of closed broadleaved forest remained at that time. Only 140 
sq. km of forest in Benin and 470 sq. km in Togo were considered 
to be undisturbed. However, these figures give an excessively 
favourable picture of the situation, particularly for Togo. In re- 



98 



BENIN 




Rain forests 




Lowland 


355 


Mangrove 


69 


Totals 


424 


TOGO 




Rain forests 




Lowland 


1,360 


Totals 


1,360 



Table 11.1 Estimates of forest extent in Benin and Togo 

Area (sq. km) % of land area 

0.3 
<0.1 

0.4 

2.5 
2.5 

(Based on analysis of Map 1 1 - 1 . See Map L-egend on p. 101 for details of sources.) 



ality there are only tiny areas of forest in either country where there 
is even a remote chance of retaining the full range of natural flora 
and fauna. Map 11.1 shows that in 1979 there were 355 sq. km of 
dryland forest remaining in Benin but, as indicated on the source 
map (see Map Legend), all the forest patches are degraded. In con- 
trast, the UNEP/GRID satellite imagery which has been used to plot 
the forest remaining in Togo, showed no areas of forest left in Benin, 
or none big enough to be depicted at the scale used. Map 11.1 indi- 
cates that 1360 sq. km of forest remain in Togo (see Table 11.1). 
The forests of both countries are evidently seriously endangered. 

Benin has extensive classified forest reserves, some 21,440 sq. 
km in 1980 (FAO/UNEP, 1981). This includes 7750 sq. km of 
national parks and reserves (managed for sport-hunting). Forest 
reserves are open to specified uses by local people and to controlled 
logging. Local uses extend to clearance for temporary cultivation, 
on condition that forest is allowed to regenerate in the fallow 
period. Permits to fell timber are allocated on an individual tree 
basis by the Forest Department. In reality much of the forest reserve 
land lies in the savannas of the centre and north of the country. These 
areas were, until recently, infested with tsetse flies, the insect vector 
of sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis), and simuliid flies, which 
transmit river blindness (onchocerciasis) . This, coupled with the low 
fertility of the soils, made the areas unattractive to settlers and 
afforded protection to the forests. International campaigns to 
eliminate river blindness and the availability of drugs to treat 
trypanosomiasis in cattle, have removed this protection and the 
forests are now under more serious threat of agricultural conversion. 

Togo has three national parks and 3360 sq. km of forest reserves 
where exploitation and cultivation are illegal. In addition an 
unspecified area is considered as 'protected forest' where some log- 
ging and agriculture are allowed under Forest Department con- 
trol. In fact, the Forest Depanment tolerates a considerable level 
of activity in both categories of land, but does attempt to control 
the felling of certain more valuable timbers. 

Much of the use of forest products occurs in the villages and is 
not recorded in national statistics. The volume of timber passing 
annually through the larger and better monitored sawmills in Benin 
was about 20,000 cu. m in the early 1980s (FAOAJNEP, 1981). 
This was mainly composed of West African mahogany, iroko 
Milicia excelsa and Afzelia africana. Most is used locally for con- I 
struction and furniture manufacture. Some timber is exported ille- * 
gaily from Benin to Nigeria. Togo has been a net importer of tim- 
ber for the past 20 years and Benin now relies largely on imports. j 

It is difficult to relate timber production figures to forest area. I 
A relatively large proportion of timber in both countries comes 
from trees growing in farmland, along roadsides and as shade for 
cacao and coffee. A rather small proportion comes from forests that 






Benin and Togo 



BURKINA FASO 




Bight ot Benin 



Map 11.1 Benin and 
Togo 



Conservation areas 

existing fl^^!p^^^^^^l^^i^7ii^^^^^y?i^ 



1:3,000,000 



100 km 
miles 



99 



Benin and Togo 



are in a natural condition. Considerable amounts of charcoal and 
firewood are harvested in forests, savannas and in agricultural areas. 

Both countries are attempting to strengthen their forest protec- 
tion and to concentrate timber production in plantations. The sea- 
sonal climate and deep, well-drained soils of the south-central pans 
of both countries are suitable for teak Tectmia grandis production. 
Annual yields from plantations in Benin have attained levels of 1 5-24 
cu. m per ha, equal to the best yields obtained in Southeast Asia. 
Benin had 78 sq. km of teak plantations in 1980 (FAO/UNEP, 
1981), managed by a parastatal forestry corporation. Togo had 73 
sq. km of teak plantations, some of them dating back to the German 
colonial period at the beginning of the century. They are dispersed 
in numerous small plantings, many of which have been poorly main- 
tained and have been encroached upon and degraded. Attempts 
have ben made to establish plantations of numerous other species in 
both countries but these have hardly left any traces although some 
Cedrela is grown in association with teak in Benin. 

The only natural forests under silvicultural management for tim- 
ber production are small-scale experimental areas whose manage- 
ment is supported by aid agencies. Projects m Benin supported by 
FAG and German bilateral assistance have attempted some enrich- 
ment planting and more carefully controlled logging on a pilot 
scale. A similar scheme with German assistance is now operating 
in Togo. A further German-supported project to protect the cen- 
tral 30 sq. km core of the Lama Forest in Benin and to establish 
plantations and intensively managed forest in buffer zones in the 
peripheral part of the forest reserve, is one of the more promising 
forest conservation and development activities in the two countries. 

Deforestation 

As early as 1937 it was reported that most of Benin's coastal forests 
had already disappeared (Aubreville, 1937). For the years from 
1981 to 1985, FAG (1988) estimated an annual net deforestation 
rate of 12 sq. km for Benin and 2 1 sq. km for Togo. 

Agriculture, particularly near the coast, was one of the chief 
causes of the disappearance of the forests. Those inland, in the 

Alanioc is an unponant crop in Togo, it is frequently grozvn on land 
from zvhicli forest has been cleared. G. Martin/VCWF/BIOS 




more humid regions, initially remained relatively undisturbed. In 
addition, fire has had a major impact. Vast areas that would once 
have been covered by dry deciduous forests have been converted 
to open wooded savannas by centuries of dry-season burning. 

The active economy of Togo has generated demand for timber 
and this has greatly depleted such limited forest resources as the 
country enjoyed. Togo has been importing timber for two decades. 
Benin's economy, meanwhile, has not been totally stagnant. Even 
doctrinaire socialism could not resist the opportunities offered by 
an excellent port facility and a long, permeable border with densely 
populated, oil-rich Nigeria. Smuggling liquor and cigarettes to 
adjacent Moslem states is said to be a significant economic activ- 
ity of the country. Nigerian cacao moves in the other direction; 
Benin was once one of Africa's major exporters of this commodity 
in spite of having an extremely modest domestic production. 
Timber and other forest products cross the weakly controlled bor- 
der to meet the needs of the dense populations of adjoining parts 
of Nigeria. Thus, for totally different reasons the forests of Benin 
are also sadly depleted. 

Biodiversity 

There are no comprehensive studies of the fauna or flora of either 
country. Raynaud and Georgy (1969) describe the species in 
Benin, but in rather general terms and they focus mainly on the 
mammals of the savanna zone. Benin has around 2000 species of 
plants, but the number of endemics is unknown; of the 2300 plants 
species in Togo at least 20 are found only there (Davis et al., 1986). 
Numbers of mammals in the two countries are estimated at 187 in 
Benin and 196 in Togo (Stuan et al., 1990). These include about 
ten species of primates in each, with the endangered white-throated 
guenon Cercopithecus erythrogaster probably occurring in Benin. 
There may be as many as 1 7 species of antelope in each country 
but forest species such as bongo Tragelapluis ewyceros and duikers 
Cephahphus spp. are rare and declining. The Fosse aux Lions 
Forest Reserve in northern Togo has a population of about 1 50 
elephants Loxodonta africana, while those in 'W National Park in 
Benin form one of the largest remaining elephant populations in 
West Africa. Sayer and Green (1984) give maps of the distribution 
of larger mammals in Benin. 

There are reported to be 630 bird species in each country- (Stuan 
et al., 1990). Only one threatened species, the white-necked rock- 
fowl Picathartes gymnocephalus, is resident in Togo. There are sev- 
eral studies of the birds of the protected areas in the north of Benin 
(e.g. Green and Sayer, 1979). 

The countries do not contain any sites known to be of critical 
imponance for forest biological diversit>' conservation at a regional 
level. However, the isolated forest patches in central and southern 
Benin contain populations of a reasonable variety of primates 
which would make them important conservation sites at the 
national level. 

Conservation Areas 

As m much of Africa, conservation programmes have focused 
almost exclusively on the savanna areas whose populations of large 
mammals are a tounst attraction. Both countries have extensive 
national parks in the dry nonh (Table 1 1 .2) which are quite well 
managed. Until recently there were no protected areas whose 
objective was to conserve natural closed forest. The recent pro- 
gramme to establish a reserve in the Lama Forest in Benin is the 
first of its kind in either countrv'. Several forest reser\'es would be 
imponant areas for conser\'ation if the laws governing their pro- 
tection were properly applied. There has been considerable inter- 
est over the years in establishing a forest national park in the area 



100 



Benin and Togo 



Table 11.2 Conservation areas of Benin and Togo 

Classified forests, forest reserves and hunting zones are not 
included. For data on Biosphere reserves see chapter 9. 



BENIN 

National Parks 
Boucle de la Pendjari 
W du Benin 



Area (sq. km) 



2,755 
5,680 



Total 8,435 

TOGO 

National Parks 

Fazao-Malfakassa 1,920 

Fosse aux Lions 1 7 

Keran 1,636 

Faunal Reserves 

Aboulaye 300 

Akaba 256 

Aledjo 8 

Djambe 17 

Galangashie 75 

Haho-Yoto 180 

Kpessi 280 

OtiMandouri 1,478 

Togodo 310 

Total 6,477 

No areas comain significant closed moist forest. 
(Source!: lUCN, 1990; WCMC, m Im.) 



References 

Aubreville, A. (1 937) Les forets du Dahomey et du Togo. Bulletin 

Comite d'Etude Historique et Scietitifique d'Afrique occidentale 

Frangaise 20: 1-112. 
Davis, S. D., Droop, S. J. M., Gregerson, P., Henson, L., Leon, C. 

J.,Villa-Lobos,J.L.,Synge,H.,andZantovska,J. (1986) Plants 

in Danger: Wliat do we knoiu? lUCN, Gland and Cambridge. 
FAO (1988) An Inlenm Report on the State of Forest Resources in the 

Developitig Countries. FAO, Rome, Italy. 18 pp. 
FAO (1991) FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 1978-1989. FAO 

Forestry Series No. 24 and FAO Statistics Series No. 97. FAO, 

Rome, Italy. 
FAOAJNEP (1981) Tropical Forest Resources Assessment Project. 

Forest Resources of Tropical Africa. Part II Country Briefs. FAO, 

Rome, Italy. 
Green, A. A. and Sayer, J. A. ( 1 978) La Consen'ation des Ecosystemes 

forestiers dans la Region des Moms Kouffe. FAO/PNUD BEN 77/0 1 1 

Document du Travail No. 4, Cotonou. Pp. 1-37 plus annexes. 
Green, A. A. and Sayer, J. A. (1979) Thebirdsof Pendjari and Arli 

National Parks (Benin and Upper Volta). Malimbus 1(1): 14-28. 
lUCN (1990) 1989 United Natiotis List of National Parks and Protected 

Areas. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 275 pp. 
Raynaud, ]. and Georgy, G. ( 1 969) Nature et Chasse au Dahomey. 

Secretariat d'Etat aux Affaires Etrangeres, Paris. Pp. 1-323. 
Robbins, C. B. (1978) The Dahomey Gap - A re-evaluation of its 

significance as a faunal barrier to West African high forest. Bulletin 

of Carnegie Museum of Natural History 6: 168-74. 
Sayer, J. A. and Green, A. A. (1984) The distribution and status 

of large mammals in Benin. Mammal Reviezv 14(1): 37-50. 
Stuart, S. N., Adams, R. J. and Jenkins, M. D. (1990) Biodiversity 

in Sub-Saharan Africa and its Islands: Conservation, Management 

and Sustainable Use. Occasional Papers of the lUCN Species 

Survival Commission No. 6. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 
Verschuren, J., Heymans, J.-C. and Delvingt, W. 

(1989) Conservation in Benin. On'x 23(1): 22-6. 



of the Monts Kouffe Forest Reserve in central Benin. The Forest 
Department has never had the resources to pursue this project and 
the area has continued to be degraded by loggers, poachers and 
farmers (Green and Sayer, 1978). 

Initiatives for Conservation 

The European Economic Community is supporting major con- 
servation programmes in the protected savanna areas in the north 
of both countries. The most important of these projects aims to 
improve the management of the Pendjari and 'W National Parks 
in Benin, including an outlying area of gallery forest adjacent to 
the Pendjari National Park (see Verschuren et at, 1989). 

The Fazao-Malfakassa National Park in central Togo contains 
some riparian forest and relict patches of forest on steep hillsides. 
A Swiss-based foundation is supporting the protection of this park. 
A major project to bring the Keran National Park under manage- 
ment is at present being prepared with suppon from South Africa. 

There are several projects in both countries to establish planta- 
tions and promote the use of agroforestry techniques. These will 
all help to relieve the pressure on natural forests but in only one 
case is conservation of biological diversit\' a primary objective. The 
exception is the German project for the conservation management 
of the Lama Forest in Benin. 

Togo has embarked upon a national Tropical Forestry Action 
Plan and Benin has indicated its intention of doing so in the near 
future. Togo is also preparing an Environmental Action Plan with 
assistance from the World Bank. 



Authorship 

Jeff Sayer, lUCN with contributions from Arthur Green, Korup 
National Park, Cameroon and Denys Bourque, Quebec, Canada. 

Map 11.1 Forest cover in Benin and Togo 

Data on total forest cover for Togo and mangroves in Benin were taken from 
1989-90 UNEP/GRID data, which accompanies an unpublished report Tlie 
Methodology Development Project for Tropical Forest Cover Assessment m Vi'est Africa 
(Paivinen and Witt, 1989). UNEP/GEMS/GRID, with aid from the EEC and 
FINNIDA, have developed a system to delimit forest/non-forest boundaries in 
West Africa by mapping and using 1 km resolution NOAA/AVHRR-LAC satellite 
data. Higher resolution satellite data (Landsat .MSS and TM, SPOT) and field 
data from Ghana, Cote d'lvoire and Nigeria were also drawn upon. Forest and 
non-forest data have been categorised into five vegetation types: forest (closed, 
defined as greater than 40 per cent canopy closure); fallow (mixed agriculture, clear- 
cut and degraded forest); savanna (includes open forests in the savanna zone and 
urban areas); mangrove and water. Areas obscured by cloud are also portrayed. The 
forest and mangrove types and cloud-obscured areas have been mapped in ^his Atlas. 

The UNEP/GRID data set showed no dryland forest in Benin. The information 
on this vegetation type in Benin shown on Map 11.1 has been taken from the 
Ecological Map of the I 'egeiaiwn Cover of Benin (FAO, 1 979) at a scale of 1 :500,000. 
This map was prepared in 1978 by the Pilot Project on Tropical Forest Cover 
.Monitoring (People's Republic of Benin, UNEP, FAO) from interpretation of 
Landsat images (recorded between 1973 and 1976) and ground sur\'eys. 

Conservation areas for Benin are taken from a 1 :600,000 scale map Republique 
Populaire du Benin published by the Institut Geographique National, France in 
1984 portraying national parks, hunting zones and classified forests. Protected 
areas forTogo were extracted from two maps; an unpublished blueline map Forets 
Glassies du Togo at a scale of 1:200,000 (nd) and a published map produced by 
the Institut Geographique National in 1977 Togo at a 1:500,000 scale. 



lOI 



12 Burundi and Rwanda 



BURUNDI 


RWANDA 








\ 






Land area 2S,650sq km 


land area 24,950 sq, km 


] Y' ) ^ \ 






Population (mid- 1 990) 5 6 million 


Population (mid- 1990) 7 3 million 






Population growth rate in 1 990 3 2 per cent 


Population growth rate in 1 990 3 4 per cent 


/"^^ A i / A. 


. 




Population projected to 2020 13 7 million 


Population projected to 2020 19 7 million 


TW. rJ)"-^^^ \ 


-7 




Gross national product per capita ( 1 988) USS230 


Gross national product per capita (1988) USS3I0 


L— i-'-^_/"^ rv -wJ)k^^ 


y 




Rainforest (see mop) 413 sq km 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1 980)' 1 50 sq km 


Rain forest (see mop) I554sq-km 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1980)' lOIOsq km 


-%-c^ Tj ^\ y 


y 




N^- V ( 




Annual deforestation rate (1981-5)' 4 sq km 


Annuol deforestation rote (1981-5)' 28 sq km 






Industrial roundwood productionf 49,000 (u m 


Industrial roundwood productionf 240,000 cu m 


] J3--IJ j • 






Industrial roundwood exports! nd 


Industrial roundwood exportsf nd 


J) 




Fuelwood and charcoal productionf 4,034,000 cu m 


Fuelwood and charcoal productionf 5,602,000 cu m 


\ — "T^'v; ] /^ ( 






Processed wood productionf 3000 cu. m 


Processed wood productionf 1 5,000 cu. m 


\ i^^r 


1 • 




Processed wood exports! nd 


Processed wood exportsf nd 


J 






• FA0(I9B8| 


\ ^/ 








t 1989 dalo from FAOI1991I 


\ — ^ 













Burundi and Rwanda, located in the equatorial highlands of east-central Africa along the Western Rift, are two of the small- 
est countries on the continent. They each straddle a major portion of the Zaire-Nile Divide: a rugged mountainous region 
of the Rift which is thought to have served as a refugium for moist forest species during dr\' climatic periods of the 
Pleistocene. Although interconnected at times in the past, the mountain forests of the region have become disconnected 
to form an archipelago of forest islands, allowing for the separate evolution of species. These factors, in combination with 
a large range of topographic, edaphic and climatic characteristics represented in a small area, have resulted in montane 
forests of unusual species richness as well as high levels of local endemism and species rarity. 

These biological attributes are found in a human context of high population density and growth, low per capita supplies 
of both natural and financial resources and weak institutions. In both countries, 90-95 per cent of the population relies on 
subsistence farming and virtually all the lands with arable potential have been converted to agriculture. The forest estate 
has consequently declined to approximately 1 .4 per cent in Burundi and 5 per cent in Rwanda. Population pressure is cur- 
rently driving people to convert marginal lands and seek alternative sources of subsistence goods, especially fuelwood, and 
commercial products such as timber and gold. This puts additional pressure on the remaining forests. 

Despite growing pressures, strong forest conservation programmes have developed. All major montane forests in both coun- 
tries are now gazetted as either national parks or reserves. Conservation and management of these areas have not always been 
eflFective, however. The challenge lies in designing and implementing sustainable management schemes for existing reserves. 



Introduction 

Burundi This small, lancilockeid country in east-central Africa 
stretches 232 km from north to south between 2°20'S and 4°28'S 
and 203 km from west to east between 29°E and 30''58'E. Zaire 
and Lake Tanganyika lie to the west of the country, while Tanzania 
and Rwanda are on its eastern and northern borders respectively. 

There are four natural ecological regions in Burundi (White, 
1983a). The Imbo region in the west is a narrow subsidence plain 
extending along the Rusizi River and the north bank of Lake 
Tanganyika, lying between altitudes of 780 m and 1000 m. 
Remnant savanna and a small patch of Guineo-Congolian forest 
are situated in this region. The elongated, folded ridges of the 
Zaire-Nile massif rise some 1 500 m above the Imbo plains and then 
merge into the Central Plateau in the east at around 2100 m. There 
are four summits higher than 2500 m in this area. Lower montane 
rain forest remains along the highest reaches of the massif The 
Central Plateau is a hilly region above 1 500 m, where more than half 
of Burundi's population lives. Finally, in the east of the countrs' lie 
the lowlands, including extensive wetlands, of the Mosso. 

Burundi has an equatorial montane climate, characterised by mild 
and stable temperatures and moderate rainfall which varies with 



altitude. Typically there is a short dry season from December to 
January, relatively heavy rains from February to May, low precipi- 
tation between May and October Qune-August may be completely 
dry), followed by substantial rains from October to December. 
Precipitation levels vary considerably from region to region 
(500-2000 mm per annum). Mean annual temperatures on the cen- 
tral plateau are around 21°C with summer maxima of about 33^C 
and winter minima of approximately 6"C (below 2000 m altitude). 
Burundi's original inhabitants were probably the Batwa, a 
forest-living people who now make up less than 1 per cent of the 
population. Later, Bahutu agriculturalists and Batutsi pastoralist 
groups moved into the country and they now constitute 99 per cent 
of the population. With a mean of 193 persons per sq. km, 
Burundi's population density is second only to that of Rwanda on 
the African continent. The current population is estimated to be 
5.6 million, growing at 3.2 per cent per year, with 95 per cent of 
the people living in rural areas (PRB, 1990). Wheat, sorghum, 
maize, beans, peas, cassava and bananas are the main subsistence 
crops, while coffee is the most important commercial crop (Wilson, 
1990). 



102 



Burundi and Rwanda 



Rzvanda This hilly country is situated between 1°4'S and 2°5rS 
and 28°50'E and 30°53'E, along the eastern Up of the Western Rift 
Valley. Stretching only 185 km north to south and 225 km east to 
west, it is bounded by Zaire to the west, Uganda to the north, 
Tanzania to the east and Burundi to the south. 

Ecological zones have been described for Rwanda (Sirven et ai, 
1974; Delepierre, 1982) and can be summarised as follows. The 
south-west comer of the country is the lowest in altitude and is an 
extension of the Imbo region of Burundi. To the east the Kivu 
slopes run along the western edge of Rwanda, an area known as the 
Impara. This area consists of extremely rugged hills, averaging 1 900 
m in altitude, now entirely converted from forest to agriculture. 
Rising to the east is the Zaire-Nile Divide, forming a prominent 
backbone along the length of the country from north to south. This 
region contains all of Rwanda's remaining montane forests, except 
for the tiny (less than 0.5 sq. km) Ndiza forest in the district of 
Gitarama (A. Monfon, in lin.). The greater part of the Divide lies 
above 2000 m and was formed by upthrust during the formation of 
the Western Rift. The northernmost portion, Virunga, is of volcanic 
origin and includes three of Africa's higher mountains. Less rugged 
hills and lava plains descend eastward to the Central Plateau, a high- 
land area (1500-2000 m) dissected by many rivers, where most 
Rwandans live. Finally, in the eastern and south-central portions of 
the country lie the more sparsely populated savanna regions of the 
Akagera basin and the Bugesera. These areas are of lower altitude 
(generally 1 300- 1 600 m) and end in extensive wetland and papyrus 
marsh at their respective international borders. 

Rwanda experiences an equatorial climate, moderated by its 
high elevation. Temperatures are generally mild and stable, with 
annual means between 14"C and 21^^C depending on altitude, 
although frosts may occur in the Zaire-Nile Divide and snow falls 
periodically on the highest peaks of the Virunga mountains. 
Rainfall in Rwanda is related to altitude, with annual means of 
2400 mm on the Zaire-Nile Divide, 1200 mm in the Central 
Plateau and as little as 650 mm in the eastern savannas. Over most 
of the country there are four seasons: a major dry season from June 
to September, a short rainy season from October to December, a 
relatively dry season from January to February and a long rainy sea- 
son from March to May (Sir\'en et at., 1974). 

Rwanda's current population is estimated to be 7.3 million or 
286 inhabitants per sq. km, which is the highest density on the 
African continent. Numbers are increasing at approximately 3.4 
per cent each year. More than 90 per cent of the people depend 
primarily on farming for a living and virtually all arable land is now 
under cultivation (Fossey, 1983; Harcoun, 1986; WRI, 1990). 
Ethnic composition issimilarto that of Burundi: the original inhab- 
itants, the Batwa pygmies, now number less than 1 per cent of the 
population; the Bahutu, who occupied the country sometime 
between the 7th and 10th centuries, make up around 90 per cent 
of the population while the Batutsi, who migrated there in the 1 4th 
or 15th centun,', comprise the remainder. 

The Forests 

It is estimated that one-third to half of Burundi and Rwanda was orig- 
inally montane forest (Weber and Vedder, 1984; Runyinya, 1986), 
which was found mostly in the western highlands of the Zaire-Nile 
Divide and the slopes leading to Lake Tanganyika and Kivu. Almost 
all the remaining forest in the two countries is in the highest reaches 
of the Zaire-Nile massif where it is now subdivided into six major dis- 
continuous patches. Apan from these, one very small patch (a few 
sq. km) of lower altitude closed forest survives at Kigwena along the 
banks of Lake Tanganyika in Burundi. This is one of the easternmost 
patches of Guineo-Congolian forest and thus is of special interest. 



Bunindi The montane forests of Burundi are chiefly closed forest, 
but they vary with altitude and latitude due to changes in 
temperature and length of dry season respectively. Bururi forest is 
located at the southern tip of the Zaire-Nile Divide. It contains a 
unique assemblage of species, some more typically found in the 
savanna regions to the east, some from the lowland forests of Zaire 
and others common to other montane forests of the region (Weber 
and Vedder, 1983; Weber and Vedder, 1984). More than 90 tree 
species are present, six of which are deciduous due to the long dry 
season. The lowest lying regions ( 1 600- 1 900 m) are dominated by 
Anihonotha pynaenu, Albizia gimmnfera, Parinari excelsa, Newtonia 
buchananii. Crown macroslachyus and Tabeniaemontana stapfiana 
(Project Bururi-Rumonge-Vyanda, 1990). Epiphytes and ferns are 
numerous. The upper regions (1900-2300 m) include Albizia and 
TabeniaeiiioMana as listed above but are characterised by 
Chrysophyllum gonrngosanum, Syniphonia globulifera and 
Enlandrophragma cxcekum (Weber and Vedder, 1983). Under 
favourable conditions in Bururi, Enlandrophragma individuals 
emerge from the canopy to reach as high as 65 m. 

Kibira forest, along the divide to the north, is at a higher alti- 
tude (1000-2660 m) and is more humid. It is contiguous with the 
Nyungwe forest of Rwanda. Primary forest constitutes about 20 
per cent of these areas; the rest is secondary due to such human 
disturbances as past burning, tree-felling and cattle raising. 
Bamboo Anindinana alpina is mixed with both the primary and 
secondary forests. The primary forest is tall closed canopy forest 
dominated by species such as Parinari excelsa, Enlandrophragma 
excehum, Cassipoiirea ndando, Albizia gummifera and Syzygium 
giiineense. Secondary forest stages include the tree species 
Macaranga kilimatidscharica, Neobouronia macrocalyx, Polyscias 
ftdva and Hagenia abyssinica (Trenchard, 1987; Nduv\aimwami, 
1990). In the past, this forest was used as a royal hunting ground 
and some areas today hold almost magical qualities for the local 
people and thus are left undisturbed (Wilson, 1990). 

The small patch of evergreen forest at Kigwena lies at an alti- 
tude of 780-800 m. Exceptionally large (some are over 10 m high) 
and spectacular Dracaena sreudnesi plants occur in the forest along 
with a wide variety of trees including Maesopis eminii, Newtonia 
biichananu and Pycnantlms angolensis (Wilson, 1990). 

Rwanda Nyungwe forest, located in the south-west, and 
contiguous with Kibira forest in Burundi, is Rwanda's largest and 
most diverse montane forest. Dowsett-Lemaire (1990) estimates 
that it now covers 900 sq. km. Ranging in altitude from 1600 m to 
2950 m, it is a dynamic mosaic of closed forest (with Parinari excelsa, 
Strombosta schejjlen, Chysophyllum sp., Enlandrophragma excelsum, 
Syniphonia sp., Newtonia buchananii, Podocarpus spp. and Ocotea 
spp.), secondary forest, drier forest ridges, swamp forest 
(dominated by Carapa grandiflora, Syzygium guineense and 
Anthocleista grandiflora), large homogeneous stands of bamboo and 
openings filled with herbaceous plants Q.-P. Van de Weghe, in Int.; 
Bahigiki and Vedder, 1987). Most of the openings and secondary 
forest are thought to be the consequence of landslides rather than 
human disturbance. 

The Mukura, Gishwati-south and Gishwati-north forests are 
found further along the Divide. Except that a far greater percentage 
of the forest cover is in secondan' forest (due largely to catde pas- 
turing) and is generally more impoverished in character, all three are 
similar to portions of Nyungwe forest at equal altitude (D'Huart, 
1983). The dominant secondary species is Neoboutonia macrocalyx. 

TTie forests of the Virunga mountains, in the north-west comer of 
the country, stretch from 2400 m to 3500 m. The lowest slopes of 
the dormant volcanoes (2500-3200 m) are carpeted with bamboo 



103 



Burundi and Rwanda 

which covers approximately 35 per cent of the forest. Patches of 
Doiiibeya goetzciiii and Neoboiitonia are found but the Pmims 
africaiia forest once located below the bamboo has been converted 
to agriculture. Higher up, from 2600 m to 3500 m, particularly on 
the more humid slopes of the east and south, Hagenia-Hypericwii 
forest predominates. This open forest, reaching heights of only 
10-12 m, covers approximately 30 per cent of the area and is 
accompanied by lush growth of terrestrial herbaceous vegetation 
with many grassy, waterlogged clearings. Rocky ridges frequently 
carry a more diverse tree community and these grade into erica- 
ceous heath leading up from the forest to the sub-alpine zone. This 
zone is found above 3500 m and is dominated by giant Lobelia and 
Senecio. The mountains are topped by Akhemilla, sedge and grass 
meadows in the alpine zone. 

Forest Resources and Management 

At present, only 360 sq. km (1.4 per cent) of Burundi's land area 
remains covered in forest, while about 5 per cent of Rwanda is 
forested. Map 12.1 shows slighdy higher forest areas, with 411 sq. 
km (1.6 per cent) of montane forest remaining in Burundi and 
1554 sq. km (6.2 percent) in Rwanda (Table 12.1). FAO (1988) 
gives lower figures than suggested here, panicularly in Burundi 
where it estimates only 150 sq. km remains. Map 12.1 shows the 
extent of Kigwena forest to be only 2.4 sq. km although it is 
reported to be 5 sq. km in area. 

The montane forests of Rwanda and Burundi form an 
archipelago of high-altitude islands surrounded by a sea of inten- 
sive agriculture. This exacerbates both the threats to the forests 
and the importance of them to their host countries. The value of 
these forests lies not in the commercial extraction of timber, since 
as montane forests they harbour only low densities of valuable 
hardwoods. Instead, their greatest value is realised through the eco- 
logical services performed by the forest cover: regulation of the 
entire region's hydrological system, prevention of soil erosion and 
reduction of flooding downstream. For instance, the forested areas 
of the Virungas provide 10 per cent of Rwanda's water catchment 
area although they cover only 0.6 per cent of its land area 
(Harcoun, 1986; Weber, 1987). 

More easily quantifiable are tangible economic returns from a 
variety of forest resources. First among these is tourism, which has 
proved to be an important source of foreign exchange in Rwanda 
(Weber, 1989). Initially based on visits to mountain gorillas in the 
Volcanoes National Park (see case study), spin off programmes 



Table 12.1 Estimates of forest extent in Burundi and Rwanda 



BURUNDI 
Rain forests 
Lowland 
Montane 

Totals 

RWANDA 
Rain forests 
Montane 

Totals 



Area (sq. km) 



2 
411 

413 



1,554 

1,554 



% of land area 



<0.01 
1.6 

1.6 



6.2 
6.2 




(Based on analysis of Map 12.1. See Map Legend on p. 109 for details of sources.) 



Aiontaiie forest, note llic lichen and moss draping the trees, in the 
Volcanoes National Park, Rzva)ida. C. Harcourt 

have begun in the Nyungwe (see case study in chapter 9), Gishwati 
and Kibira-Teza forests. It is estimated that Rwanda earned 
USS17 million of foreign exchange in 1989 from its tourist indus- 
try (Monfort, 1990). However, the civil war is presently (1991) 
having a devastating effect on tourist income. Although not 
tourism /)L'r St!, the establishment of research centres in some of the 
forests (Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe and Kibira-Teza) 
provides benefits in the form of local employment and foreign 
exchange earnings. More important in the long term, these centres 
provide the capability to train host-country students and profes- 
sionals. 

Forest products play an important direct economic role in the 
lives of local people. Major products include fuel and construction 
wood, timber, bamboo, honey, medicinal plants, thatch and 
bushmeat (Bahigki and Vedder, 1987). These resources provide 
subsistence goods for the people surrounding the forest and some 
form the major source of income for the harvester. At present, 
extraction of these products is illegal and frequently involves over- 
exploitation such that product availability declines. 

In order to conserve these resources, each of the remaining 
forests of Rwanda and Burundi is classified as either national park 
or reserve. Various management strategies have been adopted in 
each of these areas, ranging from total protection to multiple use 
(see Conservation Areas on p. 107). 

Deforestation 

Although forest conversion began more than 2000 years ago, it was 
not until the first half of this century that the destruction became 
significant. During the 1920s the forest edge was pushed back at 
the rate of nearly one kilometre per year along the entire Zaire-Nile 
Divide (Weber and Vedder, 1984). Despite the fact that the 



104 



Burundi and Rwanda 



The Mountain Gorilla Project 

Only six other areas in Africa reach die 4000m altitudes found in 
the Virunga Volcano region of Rwanda, Uganda and Zaire. 
Probably no other forest at these altitudes - the forest stretches up 
from 2500 m - is as well protected as the montane forest of 
Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park (Pare National des Volcans) 
and Zaire's Virungas National Park (Pare National des Virungas- 
Sud). Mountain gorillas are the reason. They possess all the 
attributes required of a species to raise public sympathy, and through 
them some of the world's rarer forest habitat has been saved. 

In the mid- 1 970s the situation looked bleak for the gorillas and 
the forest (Harcoun and Fossey, 1981). Repeated censuses indi- 
cated that the size of the Virunga gorilla population had not only 
declined markedly from the estimated 450 of the early 1960s, but 
that a trade in infants and heads had started. In addition, in the 
late 1960s, about 20 per cent of the forest had been excised for 
pyrethrum Tanacelum cinerariifolium plantations, with further 
appropriations planned for cattie ranches. The killing of animals 
in Dian Fossey's famous study groups in 1978 signalled a nadir. 
The attacks shocked the world conservation community, and so 
was bom the Mountain Gorilla Project (MGP). Four international 
conservation organisations (WWF, FFPS, The African Wildlife 
Foundation and the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species) joined 
forces and, along with the Belgian foreign aid programme, pro- 
vided funds, personnel and expertise to help Rwanda protect its 
Volcanoes National Park and the mountain gorilla. The level of 
funding required was high - at least USS 1 50,000 per year for the 
first five years was spent in Rwanda alone. 

Starting in 1979, the MGP supplied equipment to the park 
guard force; it helped the Rwandan Office of Tourism and 
National Parks (ORTPN) to habituate three gorilla groups to 
visits by tourists and to establish a strictly controlled tourism 
programme; and it instituted a country-wide conservation 
awareness campaign that reached all levels of the community 
from the local people, through primary and secondary schools, 
to government officials and diplomats. Until then, the only sig- 
nificant improvement in management of the whole Virunga area 
had occurred in 1976, when Rwanda increased its guard force 
and expelled all livestock from the park. Later censuses showed 
that the improvement in Rwanda's gorilla population stemmed 
from this date, a momentum maintained and augmented by the 
Mountain Gorilla Project (Harcourt, 1986). 

After ten years' operation, the Mountain Gorilla Project was 
by any standards a success: 

• An eighty-fold increase in park revenue from USS 10,000 to 
more than USS800,000. 

• A five-fold increase in number of visitors to the park. 

• A doubling of park guards. 

• Newly built park headquarters and visitors' accommodation. 

• No gorilla killed by poachers since 1983. 

• A drop from 50 per cent of the local farmers to less than 20 
per cent who think the park should be made available for agri- 
culture (Harcourt et al, 1986). 

• About a 15 per cent increase in the gorilla population since 
the mid-seventies, from around 270 to 310, due to increased 
immature recruitment to the population (Harcourt, 1986). 

A vital reason for the success of the gorilla conservation pro- 
gramme in Rwanda was the previous two decades' biological 
study of the gorillas in the region. Building on George Schaller's 
studies in Zaire in the late 1950s, Dian Fossey established in 
1967 in the Volcanoes National Park the field camp that was to 



become the Karisoke Research Centre. Her work (Fossey, 
1983) and that of others there has since provided one of the best 
compendiums available of knowledge and understanding of the 
behaviour, ecology and population dynamics of a tropical mam- 
mal species. The speed with which Rwanda's new park man- 
agement policies were formulated and implemented was largely 
due to this knowledge. In recognition of the importance of bio- 
logical research to effective management, the Mountain Gorilla 
Project and ORTPN have always kept separate the research and 
tourist areas in the park, despite the large financial gain possi- 
ble from taking groups of tourists to the habituated study 
groups. The Centre is now funded by the American foundation 
the Digit Fund, and in 1989 the Rwandan government agreed 
to a five-year, several hundred thousand dollar USAID project 
with the Centre to fund research on aspects of the park's ecol- 
ogy other than gorillas (sadly neglected to date) and to 
strengthen ties between the Centre and other institutions in 
Rwanda concerned with conservation. 

Initially the situation improved only in Rwanda; in Zaire and 
Uganda it worsened. In 1985, former personnel of the Mountain 
Gorilla Project moved to Zaire to cooperate with the Zaire 
Institute for the Conservation of Nature (IZCN) in establishing 
an equivalent programme there with international funding from 
WWF and Frankfurt Zoo. The continued health of the gorillas 
and the forest now owes as much to Zaire's efforts as to Rwanda's. 

If the Virunga gorillas are to continue to multiply and thrive, 
conservation projects in the area are surely going to have to 
involve themselves directly in alleviating the ever increasing 
pressure on the surrounding land from a rapidly growing pop- 
ulation and its demands for agricultural expansion. This has 
happened in Zaire, with afforestation now an intrinsic part of 
management of the region. However, the authorities in Rwanda 
have yet to integrate conservation of the Volcanoes National 
Park with agricultural development in the community. 

Source: Alexander Harcourt 

TJie mountain gorillas have proved an ideal species for attracting tourists 
and thereby ensuring the protection of their habitat. C. Harcourt 




105 



Burundi and Rwanda 



<;S^''^n/olcans ( 



Virunga ^ 
Mocfniains 



Gishmi-SjForest 



RW 



/.a/te/f/Vu 








Nikuia Forest 



TEH" 



Gitarama 



Cyangug 



ZAIRE 



UGANDA 






Akagera y 



AN DA 






, KIGALI 



GENTRAlrPlzAfFEAU ^gW 

_ Bueesera ^--^^^^^^'^ ^ )^ 



Bugesera 

I) <p 



^ 



lake Rweitr 



Lac Rwihinda 



TANZANIA 






Rusizj ^ 



BUJUMBURA 



BUR 



CENTRAL 

Gitega 



U N D [#'*'"'""' 



PLATEAU 



31 -E 



Bumh Forest 



4-5 



Mosso^ 



Kigwena 



29°E 



30°E 



Map 12.1 Burundi/ 
Rwanda 



Rain Forest 




lowland | | 


montane ' | | 


Conservation areas 


existing r:i; 


1:;:!:mS:Siii;:::l&m 




Non Forest 1 1 


Taten /ram Wti lie (19831 

1:1,500,000 

25 


50 km 



25 miles 



106 



Burundi and Rwanda 



Rwandan forests were declared national reserves in 1933 by the 
Belgian colonial authorities, enforcement of the regulations was 
irregular and often lax. Reserve declaration resulted in relatively 
stable boundaries for many years, though it rarely prevented some 
degree of internal degradation. As population densities increased, 
however, greater pressure was put on the forest reserves, pushing 
the boundaries back both legally and illegally. For example, 40 per 
cent of the Volcanoes National Park was excised in the late 1960s 
for conversion to a large-scale agricultural settlement project. At 
the same time, the Nyungwe forest reserve declined by 170 sq. km 
due to encroachment by individual farmers (Harroy, 1981). 
Similar trends were taking place in Burundi. 

By the late 1970s, both countries recognised the problem and 
took action to stabilise reserve borders. In particular, this involved 
increased patrols and buffer tree plantations. Subsequently, effort 
has been placed on controlling illegal activities within the reserves. 
Notable successes include the exclusion of cattle, the destruction 
of thousands of snares set for antelope and the control of wood and 
bamboo cutters in the Volcanoes National Park. Cattle have also 
been effectively excluded from Kibira National Park, but problems 
of small-scale hunting and tree-felling continue, as they do in the 
Nyungwe forest (Nduwumwami, 1990). A comparatively new- 
threat in both Kibira and Nyungwe forests is the invasion of thou- 
sands of gold miners who clear forest patches for their camps and 
denude the stream banks in their search for alluvial deposits. 
Historically this activity has caused a great reduction in numbers, 
or even extinction, of large mammals in all the forests (with the 
excepion of panicular regions of the Volcanoes National Park). 
Most affected are elephant Loxodonta africaiia, buffalo Syncenis caf- 
fer and duikers {Cephalophus lugrifrons, C. sylviciiltor, C. zveynsi and 
possibly C. mcinticola). 

Though there has been improved protection of forests in recent 
years, the Gishwati Reserve is an exception. From 1980 to 1986, 
more than 100 sq. km of this forest was converted for cattle ranch- 
ing and timber production, thereby cutting the forest into two iso- 
lated sectors (Vedder, 1985). 

FAO (1988) estimated deforestation in Rwanda to be 28 sq. km 
per year and in Burundi to be 4 sq. km per year, a rate of around 
2.7 per cent per annum in both countries. However, the present 
rate of deforestation of the montane forests, in Rwanda at least, is 
probably zero. 

Biodiversity 

There are approximately 2500 plant species in Burundi and 2150 
in Rwanda (Davis el a!., 1986). Many of the animal taxa have not 
been catalogued, but there are considered to be 633 bird species 
in Burundi and 669 in Rwanda and 103 mammal species in 
Burundi (Stuan ei al., 1990) and at least 168-174 in Rwanda (A. 
Monfort, in Ha.). Wilson (1990) gives information about some of 
the larger mammals in Burundi. The number of species endemic 
to each country is undoubtedly low, due largely to the small area 
in question. However, the montane forests are home to many 
species endemic to the Kivu-Rwenzori Highlands (or Central 
African Highlands), which are limited in distribution but are 
located on the international boundaries of Uganda, Zaire, Rwanda 
and Burundi (White, 1983b). The high proportion of endemic 
species and the unusual species richness, are used as evidence for 
the claim that this region was part of the most significant 
Pleistocene forest refugium in Africa (Hamilton, 1982 and see 
chapter 2). 

The best-known Afromontane species are certainly the pri- 
mates, a number of which are threatened. A well-studied popula- 
tion of mountain gorillas Gorilla gorilla berengei is found in the 



Virunga mountains, shared between Rwanda, Zaire and Uganda. 
They number approximately 310 individuals but the population 
has been rising during the past nine years after a long period of 
decline (Vedder and Weber, 1990). Other rare or threatened pri- 
mates include the owl-faced monkey Cercopithecus hamlyni, golden 
monkey C. iiiiris kandli, L'Hoest's monkey C. Ihoesti, Rwenzori 
black-and-white colobus Colobus angolensis nizvenzorii and chim- 
panzee Pan rwglodytes (Storz, 1983). The last four are also found 
in Burundi. The threatened Uganda red colobus Procolobus 
[badius] nifomhratus tephrosceles, is also present in Burundi. 

Both countries contain the threatened Grauer's swamp warbler 
Bradypterus graueri, papyrus yellow warbler Chloropeta gracilirostns 
and Kungwe apzWs Apalis argentea (Collar and Stuart, 1985). The 
rare, little-known Albertine owlet Glaucidnon alberttnum is also 
recorded from Rwanda. 

There are 394-400 butterfly species in Rwanda, of which three 
{Charaxes turlini, Bebearia dowsetti and Acraea turlini) are endemic, 
while another 12 endemic subspecies are also found only in 
Rwanda (A. Monfort, iii Int.). The vulnerable cream-banded swal- 
lowtail Papilio Icucolaeuia occurs only in the forests of south-west 
Uganda, north-east Zaire, Rwanda and western Burundi. The 
Nyungwe forest of Rwanda is the single most important locality 
(Collins and Morris, 1985). 

The combination of great species richness, a high proportion of 
species endemic to the Central African Highlands and significant 
numbers of rare and threatened forms has caused lUCN to rate 
the montane forests of the Albertine Rift in the highest priority 
grouping for conservation in Africa (MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 
1986). 

Conservation Areas 

Burundi It was only in 1980 that a decree allowed for the 
establishment of national parks and nature reserves in Burundi. At 
that time two national parks, two nature reserves, three forest 
reserves and two national monuments were proposed (lUCN, 
1987). In 1982, conservation efforts began in the Kibira National 
Park (379 sq. km) and the Bururi Forest Reserve (16 sq. km) along 
with several other, non-forested, protected areas. In 1983, a 
management plan for Bururi was developed under the direction of 
the Burundian Institute for Nature Conservation with the 
assistance of USAID. It involved protection of the remaining forest, 
natural reafforestation of clearings, development of woodlots and 
agroforestry plots around the reserve and a preliminary study of 
the area's tourist potential (Weber and Vedder, 1983; Weber and 
Vedder, 1984). Much of this plan has now been implemented. 

Protection activities for the Kibira National Park have included 
the planting of extensive plantations of exotic trees on the eastern 
border, organisation of park patrols and a study of resident chim- 
panzees to assess their conservation status and the possibility of 
chimp-focused tourism (Trenchard, 1987). Although the area has 
park status, commercial timber species have been planted in the 
forest to generate revenues for park management. 

Rwanda Only two national parks have been gazetted (Table 12.2), 
Akagera (2500 sq. km) and the Volcanoes (150 sq. km), yet they 
occupy over 10 per cent of the nation's territorv'. Moist forest is 
found in only the latter. Although small in itself, the Volcanoes 
National Park is contiguous with the Virunga National Park of Zaire 
and the Uganda Gorilla Game Reserve. The Volcanoes National 
Park was originally part of Albert National Park, which included 
the entire area of the volcanoes. This was set up in 1925 under the 
Belgian colonial regime and was the first national park to be 
gazetted in Africa. The Zaire and Rwanda sectors were divided in 



107 



Burundi and Rwanda 

Table 12.2 Conservation areas of Burundi and Rwanda 

Conservation areas are listed below. Forest reserves and natural 
forest reserves are not included or mapped. For data on Biosphere 
reserves see chapter 9. 





Area (sq. km) 


BURUNDI 




National Parks 




Kibira* 


■il9 


Ruvubu 


436 


Managed Nature Reserves 




Lac Rwihinda 


4 


Rusizi 


52 


Total 


871 


RWANDA 




Natiotia! Parks 




Akagera 


2,500 


Volcans (Volcanoes)* 


150 


Total 


2,650 



(.Sources: lUCN, 1990; WCMC, m Im.) 

* Area with moist forest within its boundaries according to Map 12.2. 



1960 when Zaire became independent. The Volcanoes National 
Park is currently the best protected of the reserves of Rwanda and 
Burundi due to the high profile of, and economic return from, 
mountain gorilla tourism (Weber, 1989; Vedder and Weber, 1990 
and see case study). It was declared a Biosphere reserve in 1983. 

The forest reserves of Mukura (55 sq. km) and Gishwati (North, 
70 sq. km; South, 80 sq. km) are being managed as multiple-use 
zones, except for a 50 sq. km portion of the latter which is planned 
as a nature reserve. A buffer of exotic tree plantations is being 
planted round each and various options for natural forest man- 
agement are being considered (particularly selective logging and 
enrichment planting). Further commercial timber plantations are 
planned inside Gishwati forest (Vedder, 1985). 

A general management plan has been prepared for the Nyungwe 
Forest Reserve (970 sq. km). It designates three zones to be treated 
in different manners: one to be protected as a wilderness (40 per 



cent), the second to be cleared and replanted with commercial tree 
species (10 per cent) and the last to be managed for sustainable 
timber production and possibly local non-timber product extrac- 
tion (50 per cent). In addition, a buffer of tree plantations is being 
established entirely to surround the forest reserve. Plantings of 
indigenous species may take place in limited areas of the buffer 
zone, while mixed forestry and cattle-raising activities are being 
implemented in another limited portion. Finally, a multi-pronged 
approach to general forest conservation is in progress consisting of: 

• An inventory of forest habitats and species. 

• Studies of their distribution and abundance. 

• Monitoring of human use of the forest. 

• Development of a tourism programme centred on visits to 
selected monkey groups and scenic forest trails (see case study in 
chapter 9). 

• Public awareness discussions with people living around the 
forest. 

Initiatives for Conservation 

Since all significant blocks of montane forest in Burundi and 
Rwanda are within designated conservation areas, the remaining 
challenge is chiefly that of management. Legislation regarding 
forest conservation is up to date, but the means effectively to enforce 
regulations are inadequate. Enforcement capability is severely 
constrained by the lack of trained professionals, such as biologists, 
wardens, foresters and managers. Initiatives in both formal and 
informal training are sorely needed (Weber, 1987; Vedder and 
Weber, 1990). Although financial self-sufficiency in reserve 
management is the ultimate objective, external assistance will be 
necessary, at least for some time to come. 

Support for forest conservation efforts has been provided by sev- 
eral international conservation organisations during the past 12 
years in Rwanda and five years in Burundi. These organisations 
include WCI/NYZS, FFPS, USAID, WWF, US Peace Corps, 
Belgium aid and AWF. Renewal of support from USAID has 
recently been negotiated in both countries, which will allow for a 
continuation and expansion of current conservation effons. 

Finally, regional coordination efforts were initiated at the first 
of a series of workshops on conservation and management of 
Afromontane forests of Rwanda, Burundi, eastern Zaire and south- 
western Uganda. Future coordination is planned in the form of fur- 
ther meetings, site visit exchanges for reserve personnel, exchange 
of reports and information and a regional training programme. 



References 

Bahigki, E. and Vedder, A. (1987) Etude Socio-Economique et 

Propositions Ecologiques sur la Foret de Nyungive. Unpublished 

report, World Bank. 213 pp. 
Collar, N. J. and Stuan, S. N. (1985) Threatened Birds of Africa 

and Related Islands. The ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book Part 1. 

ICBP/IUCN, Cambridge, UK. 761 pp. 
Collins, N. M. and Morris, M. G. (1985) Threatened Swallowtail 

Butteiflies of the World. The lUCN Red Data Book. lUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 401 pp. 
Davis, S. D., Droop, S. J. M., Gregerson, P., Henson, L., Leon, 

C. J., Villa-Lobos, J. L., Synge, H. and Zantovska, J. 

(1986) Plants in Danger: What do we knoiu? lUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 
Delepierre, G. (1982) Les regions agroclimatiques en relation 

avec I'intensite de I'erosion du sol. Bulletin Agncole du Rivanda 

15(2): 87-96. 
D'Huart, J. P. (1983) Conservation et Amenagement des Forets 



Naturelles de la Crete Zaire-Nil au Rwanda. Unpublished report, 

lUCN. 
Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1990) Physionomie et vegetation de la 

foret de Nyungwe, Rwanda. Turaco Research Report 3: 1 1-30. 
FAO (1988) An Interim Report on the State of Forest Resources in 

the Developing Countries. FAO, Rome, Italy. 18 pp. 
FAO (1991) FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 1978-1989. FAO 

Forestry Series No. 24 and FAO Statistics Series No. 97. FAO, 

Rome, Italy. 
Fossey, D. (1983) Gonllas in the Alist. Hodder and Stoughton, 

London, UK. 
Hamilton, A. C. (1982) Environmental Histoiy of East Africa: A 

Study of the Quaternary. Academic Press, London, UK. 328 pp. 
Harcourt, A. H. (1986) Gorilla conservation: anatomy of a cam- 
paign. In: Primates: The Road to Self-Sustaining Populations. 

Benirshke, K. (ed.), pp. 31-46. Springer Verlag, New York, 

USA. 



108 



Burundi and Rwanda 



Harcourt, A. H. and Fossey, D. (1981) The Virunga gorillas: 

decline of an 'island' population. African Journal of Ecology 19: 

83-97. 
Harcoun, A. H., Pennington, H. and Weber, A. W. 

(1986) Public attitudes to wildlife and conservation in the 

Third World. 0,y.x 20(3): 152-4. 
Harroy, J. P. (1981) Evolution Entre 1958 et 1979 du Convert 

Foreslier. Assistance International pour le Developpement 

Rural. Brussels, Belgium. 
lUCN (1987) The lUCN Directory of Afrotropical Protected A reas. 

lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. xix + 1043 pp. 
lUCN (1990) 1989 United Nations List of National Parks and 

Protected Areas. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, 

UK. 275 pp. 
MacKinnon, J. and MacKinnon, K. (1986) Reviezv of the 

Protected Areas System m the Afrotropical Realm. lUCNAJNEP, 

Gland, Switzerland. 259 pp. 
Monfort, A. (1990) Rapport Annuel du Projet Toiinsme et Pares 

Nationaux. ORTPN, Kigali, Rwanda. 
Nduwumwami, D. (1990) Protection des forets de montagne: le 

Pare National de la Kibira. In: Proceedings from the First 

International Workshop for the Conservation and Management of 

Afromontane Forests: June 19-23, 1989. WCI/NYZS. 
PRB (1990) 1990 World Population Data Sheet. Population 

Reference Bureau, Inc., Washington, DC, USA. 
Project Bururi-Rumonge-Vyanda (1990) Developpement rural: 

project Bururi-Romonge-Vyanda (Burundi). In: Proceedings 

from the First International Workshop for the Conservation and 

Management of Afromontane Forests: June 19-23, 1989. 

WCI/NYZS. 
Runyinya, B. ( 1 986) L 'Ecology et Conservation de Massif Forestiers 

de Rwanda. PhD thesis, unpublished. Universite Libre, 

Brussels, Belgium. 
Sirven, P., Gontanegre, J. F. and Prioul, C. (1974) Geographic 

du Rwanda. Editions A. DeBoeck, Brussels, Belgium. 
Storz, M. (1983) La Foret Naturelle de Nyungwe el sa Faune. 

Kibuye, Projet Pilote Forestier, Rwanda. 
Stuart, S. N., Adams, R. J. and Jenkins, M. D. (1990) 

Biodiversity in Suh-Saharan Africa and its Islands: Conservation, 

Management and Sustainable Use. Occasional Papers of the 

lUCN Species Survival Commission No. 6. lUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland. 
Trenchard, P. (1987) Ecology and Conservation of the Kibira 

National Park, Burundi. Report to INCN, Wildlife 

Conservation International/New York Zoological Society, 

Bujumbura, Burundi. 85 pp. 
Vedder, A. (1985) Rzvanda Agro-sylvo-pastoral Project - Phase II: 

Ecological Aspects of the Project and Natural Forest Conservation. 

Report to the World Bank/Direction Generale des Forets 

(Minagri). Kigali, Rwanda. 59 pp. 
Vedder, A. and Weber, A. W. (1990) Mountain Gorilla Project 

(Volcanoes National Park) - Rwanda. In: Living with Wildlife: 



Wildlife Resource Management zuitli Local Participation m Africa. 

Kiss, A. (ed.). World Bank, Washington, DC, USA. 
Weber, A. W. (1987) Socioecological factors in the conservation 

of Afromontane forest reserves. In: Primate Conservation in the 

Tropical Rain Forest. Marsh, C. W. and Mittermeier, R. A. (eds). 

Monographs in Primatology, Vol. 9, pp. 205-29. Alan R. Liss, 

New York, USA. 
Weber, A. W. (1989) Conservation and Development on the 

Zaire-Nile Divide: an Analysis of Value Conflicts and Convergence 

in the Management of Afromontane Forests in Rwanda. 

Unpublished PhD thesis. University of Wisconsin, Madison, 

USA. 
Weber, A. W. and Vedder, A. (1983) Socw-ecological Swvey of 

the Burun Forest Project Area. Repon to USAID. Bujumbura, 

Burundi. 1 1 1 pp. 
Weber, B. and Vedder, A. (1984) Forest conservation in 

Rwanda and Burundi. Swara 7(6): 32-5. 
White, F. (1 983a) The Vegetation of Africa: a descriptive memoir to 

accompany the Unesco/AETFA T/UNSO vegetation map of Africa. 

Unesco, Paris, France. 356 pp. 
White, F. (1983b) Long-distance dispersal and the origins of 

Afromontane flora. Sonderbd. Natunviss. Ver. Hamburg 7: 

87-116. 
Wilson, V. J. (1990) Preliminary Survey of the Duikers and Other 

Large Mammals of Burundi, East Africa. Chipangali Wildlife 

Trust, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. 
WRI (1990) World Resources 1990-91. Prepared by the World 

Resources Institute, UNEP and UNDP. Oxford University 

Press, Oxford, UK, and New York, USA. 



Authorship 

Amy Vedder, Biodiversity Program Coordinator, WCI, with con- 
tributions from John Hall, School of Agricultural and Forest 
Sciences, Bangor; Alexander Harcourt, University of California at 
Davis; Alain Monfon, Belgium and Roger Wilson, FFPS. 



Map 12.1 Forest cover in Burundi and Rwanda 
Forest and protected area data for Burundi were taken from a tourist map 
Burundi (1984), at a 1:250,000 scale, prepared by the Institut Geographique 
National - France, Paris, in collaboration with the Institut Geographique du 
Burundi, Bujumbura. The map was financed by Fonds d'Aide et de 
Cooperation de la Republique Frant;aise (French Aid). The 'Foret' category 
and 'Limite de pare ou reserve' were digitised from this map. Vegetation cover 
data were then overlain on White ( 1 983) to dehmit montane and lowland forest, 
as shown on iViap 12.1. 

Remaining indigenous forest in Rwanda and national parks were extracted 
from a published map Republique Rzvandaise, Cane Administrative et Routiere 
(nd), at a scale of 1 ;250,000, published by the Service de Cartographie, Kigali 
and financed by the Administration Beige de la Cooperation au Developpement. 
On Map 12.1 the 'Foret Naturelle' category has been digitised and mapped as 
montane forest as categorised by White (1983). 



109 



13 Cameroon 



Land area 465,400 sq. km 

Population (mid- 1 990) II I million 

Population growth rate in 1 990 2 6 per cent 

Population projected to 2020 23 5 million 

Gross national product per capita ( 1 988) USSI 01 

Rain forest (sec map) 1 55,330 sq. km 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1 980)' 1 79,200 sq. km 

Annual deforestation rote (1981-S)' 800 sq. km 

Industrial roundwood productionf 2,708,000 cu. m 

Industrial roundwood exportsf 457,000 (u m 

Fuelwood and charcoal productionf 1 0, 1 42,000 cu. m 

Processed wood productionf 733,000 cu m 

Processed wood exportsf 82,000 cu m 

• FAO(1988) 

t 1989dotofcomFAOI1991l 




The Republic of Cameroon is one of the most important countries in Africa in terms of the biodiversity of its forests. It 
contains montane, submontane, lowland evergreen and semi-deciduous forests. The rich biological diversity of the low- 
land forests is attributable to their very stable existence even during periods of cool, dry weather such as occurred in the 
Pleistocene during which rain forests were considerably reduced elsewhere. High endemism occurs in the montane forests, 
which were isolated from one another during these same periods. The different forest types are subject to different pres- 
sures. The most highly endangered are the montane, coastal evergreen and semi-deciduous forests. The evergreen forests 
of the south-east were less endangered until the recent announcement of a government plan to increase logging. Timber 
is an important component of the Cameroon economy, both for export income and for domestic consumption of building 
and firewood. Current production of industrial wood is 2.7 million cu. m and the government plans to double this by the 
year 2000. 

Those forests that are legally gazetted (nine different categories including production and protection forests, national 
parks and faunal reserves) are strictly controlled. Other forests on so-called 'national' land, where most commercial log- 
ging occurs, have fewer controls. They are often encroached upon and degraded. There is a need for legal control of the 
national lands but also a need to provide commercial loggers with enough resources for the sawmills they are obliged to 
construct. Logging activities, agricultural encroachment (encouraged by the present laws) and fire are the major causes of 
forest degradation and destruction in Cameroon. 



Introduction 

Cameroon is roughly triangular in shape with a base of some 700 
km and a height of 1200 km and an area of 475,440 sq. km. It lies 
between latitudes 2° and 13°N and between longitudes 8° and 
16°E. It is bounded to the south by Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and 
Congo, to the north by Chad, to the east by the Central African 
Republic and to the west by Nigeria and the Atlantic Ocean. 

The coastline is 590 km and is highly indented. The coastal 
plain decreases in width from 100 km in the north to 30 km in 
the south and hills rise abruptly from this plain to a vast plateau 
block (500-1000 m above sea level). A mountain ridge, oriented 
south-west to north-east, continues inland from the oceanic vol- 
canic ridge, extends along the north-western side of the interior 
plateau, along the Nigeria border and then east across the coun- 
try in the Massif de I'Adamaoua. The highest point in Cameroon, 
which is part of the ridge, is Mt Cameroon (4095 m). Drainage 
is very complex, with nine major river basins. The largest river in 
Cameroon, the Sanaga, drains much of the central highland 
region before reaching the sea at a delta on the Bight of Biafra. 
North of the Sanaga River is the Wouri which rises in the coastal 
mountains of the great south-west to north-east ridge and reaches 
the coast at Douala. South of the Sanaga, the principal rivers are 



the Nyong, Lokoundje and Ntem. The south-eastern and south- 
central parts of the plateau drain to the Zaire River System and 
much of the north drains into Lake Chad (Hughes and Hughes, 
1991). 

Many of Cameroon's forests are subject to an equatorial climate 
with four seasons per year (a long and a short dry season and a long 
and short rainy season), but the coastal and montane forests tend 
to have an anomalous climate with only two seasons (a long wet 
season and a short, albeit often severe, dry season). Most of the 
coastal plain has more than 4000 mm of precipitation annually and 
at Debundscha, at the foot of Mt Cameroon, rainfall regularly 
exceeds 10,000 mm. Mountains receive more rain than lowlands 
at similar latitudes so that montane forest islands are often sur- 
rounded by relatively dry savanna (Genieux, 1961). 

Cameroon had, in 1990, a population of 11.1 million people 
and, if the present annual growth rate of 2.6 per cent is main- 
tained, the population will double in less than 30 years. Fifty per 
cent of the people are of working age (15-64), while most of the 
rest are below it. The population is very unevenly distributed with 
concentrations in the west, south-central and the Sudan savanna 
zone in the north, while in the Adamaoua plateau and in the south 



110 



Cameroon 



and east densities tend to be low. Mean population density is 24.3 
persons per sq. km while the mean rural population density is 13.1 
persons per sq. km. 

The country is divided into two major religious, social and cul- 
tural zones. The people of the humid forest zone in the south of 
the country are farmers and cultivators. They constitute about 33 
per cent of the population and have been profoundly influenced 
by Christianity and by the European introduction of an externally 
oriented economy with plantations, commercial agriculture, 
forestry, railways, urbanisation, some oil production and some 
industrialisation. The pastoral and sedentary people of the north, 
on the other hand, are either Muslim (16 per cent) or animist (51 
per cent) and have largely retained their traditional ways of life. 
Consequently the south is much more developed than the north, 
both economically and socially, although the government has made 
effons to reduce this regional disparity. 

The capital, Yaounde, with an estimated population of 750,000, 
is located in the centre-south while the main port of Douala (pop- 
ulation 1,000,000) is located on the Wouri estuary. Much of their 
recent growth is the result of migration from rural areas. The rural 
exodus intensified in 1983/4 following severe drought with heavy 
losses of both food and cash crops. The percentage of rural village 
dwellers dropped from 71.4 per cent in 1976 to 61.8 per cent in 
1986 and continues to fall rapidly (WRI, 1990). This is of great 
concern to the government for two reasons: first, the loss of 
peasant farmers who produce most of the cash crops and second, 
the degradation of the cities with overcrowding, high rates of crime, 
disease and unemployment. 

Before 1977, the economy of Cameroon was based principally 
on agriculture. The major exports were cocoa, coffee, timber, 
cotton, rubber, palm oil, bananas, tobacco and tea. By 1980, 
petroleum was the country's primary export and in 1985 produc- 
tion peaked, bringing in US$1617 million. By 1987, this income 
was more than halved to USS783 million (Jeune Afrique, 1988). 
However, this fairly modest production gave a major boost to eco- 
nomic growth, helping to sustain real growth rates of 7-8 per cent 
between 1980 and 1985. Prudently, the strength of agriculture was 
maintained and in 1984 an estimated 79 per cent of the working 
population was engaged in this sector. With the exception of rub- 
ber and palm oil, peasant farmers dominate agricultural export pro- 
duction. In contrast, in spite of efforts to build up Cameroonian 
participation, timber production and export remain dominated by 
large foreign firms. 

The Forests 

Comprehensive accounts of the forest vegetation in Cameroon are 
given by Letouzey (1968, 1985). Much of the information in this 
section is derived from these publications. Cameroon contains 
moist forest of two of Africa's four major biogeographical regions: 
the Afromontane and the Guineo-Congolian (White, 1983). The 
Airomontane region comprises two major domains, Afro-subalpine 
grassland and montane forest, both of very limited extent. This 
region covers about 725 sq. km, or less than 1 per cent of the land 
area of the country. The Guineo-Congolian region, which includes 
submontane forest and extensive dense, humid, evergreen forest as 
well as semi-deciduous forest of middle and lower elevations, cov- 
ers a total of 267,000 sq. km, or 56 per cent of the land area of the 
country; about 66 per cent of the region remains forested. 

The height of the trees in the montane forest is around 15-25 
m, the crown is evergreen, the leaves leathery, and there are few 
lianes. The understorey tends to be open and lichens and mosses 
are common. Five species of tree characterise the montane zone: 
Nuxia congesta, Podocarpus lali/olius, Prunus africanus, Rapanea 



melanophloeos and Syzygium staudtii. Anmdinaria alpina also occurs 
and Oka hochstetlen is found in the drier montane forests. Other 
montane species include Crassocephalum mannii, Hypericum lance- 
olatum, Myrica arborea, Philippia mannii and Schlefflera abyssinica. 
While levels of endemism are fairly high, species diversity is low. 
It seems likely that this phenomenon may correlate with the severe 
reduction in the area of the forest which occurred during dry cli- 
matic periods (see chapter 2). 

The submontane forest zone is found between 800 and 2200 m 
in the south of the countr>' and from 1 200 to 1 800 m in the north. 
It is characterised by floral uniformity and an abundance of plants 
of the family Guttiferae. It covers about 3775 sq. km, or about 1 
per cent of national land. At lower altitudes, the species structure 
of the forest is similar to that of the adjacent lowland forests; as ele- 
vation increases the epiphytic flora, principally orchids and mosses, 
increases and tree species not found in lowland forests (e.g. 
Caloncoba lophocarpa, Crotonogynopsis manniana, Dasylepis race- 
niosa, Etythrococca hispida, Prunus africanus and Xylopia africana) 
begin to appear. The submontane forests are very poorly known 
biologically compared to both the lowland and montane types. 

Medium and low altitude forests are found from sea level to 
800 m in the south and from sea level to 1200 m in the north of 
Cameroon. Within this domain, the dense, humid, semi-decidu- 
ous forest is often fragmented and it is seriously endangered by 
brush fires set during the dry season. This forest type covers around 

40.000 sq. km or about 8.6 per cent of national land. The dense 
humid evergreen forest covers about 27.5 per cent (128,000 sq. 
km) of the country's land area and is made up of two principal 
zones: evergreen Cameroon-Congolese forest and evergreen 
Atlantic forest. 

The evergreen Cameroon-Congolese zone of medium altitude 
forest covers about 81,000 sq. km or 17.4 per cent of the national 
land. The floristic diversity of this zone tends to be lower than that 
of the Atlantic coastal forests. Principal affinities are with the 
Congo basin forests with such species as Lannea welwitschii, 
Ckistopholis patens, Xylopia staudtii, Bombax buonopozense, 
Cordia platythyrsa, Swanzia fistuloides, Irvingia grandifolia and 
Entandrophragma ulik. With the notable exception of 
Gilberliodendron dewevrei this forest, unlike parts of the Atlantic 
zone, is not characterised by gregarious Caesalpiniaceae. 
Associations found within this zone include the swamp forests of 
the Upper Nyong with Sterculia subviolacea and Macaranga spp., 
swamp forests with Phoenix reclinata and Raphia nwnbultorum and 
flooded forests with Guibounia demeusei. 

The evergreen Adantic (or Nigerio-Cameroon-Gabon) zone of 
the low and medium altitude forest covers about 47,000 sq. km or 

10.1 per cent of national land. The floristic diversity here is very high 
and there is marked endemism. The flora has affinities with the 
forests of South America. For instance, the trees Erismadelphus exsul 
and Sacoglottis gabonensis belong to families poorly represented in 
Africa, but which are abundant in South America. Andira inermis, 
which has a very local distribution in this forest zone, is another 
species that is also found in South America. This zone is the centre 
of diversity for various plant taxa including the genera Cola, 
Diospyros, Garcinia and Dorstenia. In addition, many narrow 
endemics occur in the forest including Hymenostegia bakeri, Soyaivcia 
talbotii, Deinboltia angiisii/olia, D. saligtia, Ouratea dusenii and 
Mediisandra richardsiana. The forest shares species with the Ituri for- 
est of eastern Zaire (e.g. Diospyros gracikscens) , with the forests of the 
Congo basin (e.g. Oubanguia alata, Afzelia bipmdensis and Enanlia 
chlorantha) and with those of Upper Guinea (e.g. Diospyros 
kamerunensis and D. piscatoria). These species shared with other 
regions are evidence of past connections between the forests. 



Ill 



Cameroon 

Mangroves 

Map 13.1 indicates that in 1985 there were 2434 sq. km of man- 
groves remaining in Cameroon. Two major areas, together cover- 
ing some 2300 sq. km, lie on the coast east and west of Mt 
Cameroon (SECA/CML, 1987). The red mangrove Rhizophora 
racemosa makes up 90 to 95 per cent of the mangrove area. It can 
reach 25 m in height while the other two Rhizophora species, R. 
harrisonii and R. mangle rarely exceed 6 m. The white mangrove 
Avicennia iiirtda also occurs. 

The mangroves and the adjacent coastal waters of up to 50 m in 
depth nurture and protect a major fishery resource of great economic 
and nutritive importance for Cameroon. The annual fish produc- 
tion of the Rio del Rey and the Cross River estuary is about 12,800 
metric tonnes and at least one-third of this, with a value of USS8 
million, comes from the Cameroonian sector. There is currendy little 
information on the actual status of mangroves although there are 
signs of local damage. For instance, the pesticides and fertilisers used 
on the large industrial plantations (chiefly of rubber, oil palm and 
bananas) which are one of the features of the coastal area of 
Cameroon, drain into the mangroves and have a deleterious effect 
on them. TTie fertilisers cause eutrophication and algal growth which 
interferes with mangrove transpiration, and the pesticides accumu- 
late in the trophic chain. There is also pollution from the offshore 
oil operations. Very little of Cameroon's mangrove forest is protected 
apart from a small area in the northern part of the Douala-Edea 
Faimal Reserve, and even this is threatened with degazettement. 

Forest Resources and Management 

The most recent comprehensive accounts of the organisation of 
the forestry sector in Cameroon are given in FAO (1990) and IIED 
(1987). According to these repons, the forests in Cameroon cover 
around 175,200 sq. km or 37.6 per cent of the country's land area. 
The dense humid evergreen and semi-deciduous forests, covering 
168,000 sq. km, make up the majority of this. Map 13.1 shows, in 
1985, a total rain forest cover of 155,330 sq. km, a slighdy lower 
area than diat reported by FAO (1990) and IIED (1987). The 
types of forest making up this total are shown in Table 13.1. 

The Forestry Directorate, under the administrative authority of 
the Ministry of Agriculture, is charged with the establishment and 
implementation of forest policy, with the preparation of regulations 
and the coordination of management plans. It is also responsible 
for the application of the forestry legislation as it concerns the pro- 
duction and protection forests and the supervision and control of 
forestry exploitation at both central and regional levels. 

The Office National de Regeneration des Forets (ONAREF) 
has responsibility for forest inventories, the development of man- 
agement plans, the promotion of wood and wood products, forest 
regeneration and increasing forest productivity. However, its 
responsibility for land management and regeneration is limited to 
state lands. Although ONAREF has carried out an imponant for- 



Table 13.1 Estimates of forest extent in Cameroon 



Rain forests 
Lowland 
Montane 
Mangrove 
Swamp 



Area (sq. km) % of land area 

147,480 31.7 

3,186 0.7 

2,434 0.5 

2,230 0.5 



Totals 155,330 33.4 

(Based on analysis of Map 1 3. 1. See Map Legend on p. 1 18 for details of sources.) 



est inventory of almost 1 10,000 sq. km, it has provided manage- 
ment plans for ven,' few of the state forests. 

Most of ONAREF's reforestation activities have focused on the 
creation of plantations (usually of fast-growing exodc species) in 
savannas and for desertification control. Only 30 sq. km have been 
reforested annually in recent years and only one-third of that has 
been in the dense forest zone. On the national lands, where most 
logging occurs, there is no requirement for management and there 
is a range of different options for exploitation. These options and 
the regulations controlling them tend to be minutely detailed but 
mainly in economic terms. The requirements of the reporting sys- 
tem and the system of log measurements are demanding but in the 
forest controls are weak. A further problem on national land is a 
concession licence system which allows locals to log small areas of 
forest for a three-year period. Concessions are granted without 
approval from any form of technical committee and there is little 
or no field supervision of the operations. There is no obligation for 
the licence holder to construct a sawmill or a wood processing unit 
and the wood is often sold to existing (expatriate) mills. Indeed, 
some expatriate companies rely on this source to provide sufficient 
throughput to operate their mills. 

Of the 49 tree species officially recognised as commercial, only 
about 30 are used and three species (ayous Triplochiton scleroxylon, 
sapele Entandrophragina cylindncmn and azobe Lophira alala) 
account for almost 60 per cent of production. Ayous (known as 
obeche or samba in West Africa) is a white wood, while azobe is a 
hard, heavy, red wood. 

Cameroon is currendy the seventh largest exporter of tropical tim- 
ber in the world and third in Africa after Cote d'lvoire and Gabon. 
Timber occupies fourth place in order of importance of Cameroon's 
exports, after petroleum, coffee and cocoa beans. However, the 
diminishing petroleum resource and the falling world prices for 
coffee and cocoa combine to put pressure on the forestry sector to 
make good the difference. Indeed, the present government policy is 
to increase the amount of logging so that timber production will 
replace petroleum as the engine that drives the Cameroonian econ- 
omy. The production target is 4 million cu. m by the year 2000 and 
5 million cu. m by the year 2010. In 1988/9, the export of wood rep- 
resented an income of some USS190 million. The sector engages 
about 20,000 persons in full-time employment, represents 9 per cent 
of the total industrial production and provides 4 per cent of the GNP. 

The logging industry of Cameroon is under the effective control 
of foreign companies. In 1987/8 there were 67 foreign exploitants 
with a total of 54,000 sq. km of concession area and 49 nationals 
with a total area of only 12,000 sq. km. The smaller national com- 
panies tend to concentrate on the more accessible areas. Average 
yield in Cameroon is about 5 cu. m per hectare, which is low by 
standards elsewhere in the tropics and indicates that logging is very 
selective. The volume of timber exports is approximately 1.2 mil- 
lion cu. m per year, of which 62 per cent is raw logs and the rest 
processed wood. Countries of the EEC, principally Belgium, 
France, Germany, Greece and Holland, take 85 per cent of the 
exported logs and 91 per cent of the processed wood. Over half of 
the production comes from the semi-deciduous and Cameroon- 
Congolese moist forests in the east of the country. 

Government policy is that 60 per cent of logs are processed locally. 
It is likely that this will rise to 70 per cent with the possibility that 
eventually the export of unprocessed logs will be banned alto- 
gether. One problem with this is the inefficiency with which logs 
are transformed and the lower prices paid (often as much as 50 per 
cent less) for the processed logs. The average recovery of timber 
from raw logs processed for export is about 30 per cent, but can 
be as low as 20 per cent. Furthermore, it is estimated that as much 



112 



Cameroon 



as 20-35 per cent of each felled tree is lost at the logging site. As 
a result, the waste from felled tree to sawn product is as high as 65 
to 75 per cent. Part of the reason for this is that concessions are 
granted for a five-year renewable period and, under the current 
rules, sawmill-based concessions have a working life of only nine 
years before their licence expires. This does not make it econom- 
ically viable to invest in expensive, efficient machinery. Instead, 
old, outdated and inefficient machines tend to be used. 

About 10.1 million cu. m of wood are used for fuel, mostly as 
firewood with only about 10 per cent of this being made into char- 
coal. Firewood represents a value of more than USS200 million 
per year. There is little control of this resource and taxes on its 
harvest are rarely collected. 

Concessions have been granted on at least 80,000 sq. km of 
forest, that is on more than half the land area ofl5cially classified as 
exploitable. By 1992, 50 per cent of production forests will have been 
logged at least once and some will have been logged three or four times. 

Deforestation 

Deforestation in Cameroon is difficult to quantify. Clear-felling in 
the context of logging operations does not occur within the coun- 
try. The main problem is an insidious and fast-growing degrada- 
tion of the forests. Logging, agricultural encroachment (which is 
encouraged by the present legal framework) and fire are the major 
causes of forest degradation and destruction in Cameroon. 

Eliminating seed dispersers such as elephants Loxodoma afncana 
and duikers Cephalophus spp. firom a forest whose tree species have 
co-evolved with them, will initiate a process of ecological succession 
towards a forest with a different species composition (see chapter 4). 
This is occurring in most of Cameroon's ecologically valuable coastal 
and montane forests. Forest clearing, even in the absence of human 
settlement, can be followed by invasion of the aggressive weed, 
Eupatoria chlomntha, which suppresses the forest regeneration cycle. 
Some of the forests have been repeatedly logged, their species com- 
position is essentially secondary and all the mammals, except for a 
few squirrels, rats and mice, have been eliminated from them. These 
forests may be further damaged by fire, which is also an increasing 
threat to the semi-deciduous forests of the Eastern province. 

Panly because of the differences in definition and partly because 
of the difficulties in assessment, estimates of loss of forest cover, 
or of deforestation, vary considerably. For instance, FAO (1988) 
gives a figure of 800 sq. km lost per year during 1981-5, while IIED 
(1987) estimated an annual loss of 1500 sq. km. These figures give 
an annual loss of forest of 0.5-1 per cent. Of even greater concern 
is that the rate of forest degradation (for instance, intact forest 
which has lost one or two key mammal species) is much higher and 
true primary forests are now virtually restricted to a few areas in 
the south-east of the country. 

Deforestation affects the different forest domains differently. 
Montane forests, which are usually located on fertile volcanic soils, 
are seriously threatened by clearance for agriculture and by fire. 
Indeed, burning has caused much of the natural vegetation to be 
replaced by secondary grassland. The submontane forests are sub- 
ject to similar pressures. The coastal Atlantic forests have been 
heavily logged (often several times), cleared for plantation agri- 
culture, subjected to agricultural encroachment and over-hunted. 
The semi-deciduous forests on the northern margins of the 
Congolese forests are threatened by human setdement, heavy 
hunting pressure and by fire. The Congolese forest is the only 
forest type of which substantial areas remain intact, but it is being 
targeted for increased logging. 

Most logging occurs on state lands where post-logging protec- 
tion and management is not mandatory. In fact, on completion of 



logging, the forest is subject to usage rights by the local people. 
This directly encourages forest invasion and is an outcome actively 
supported by the government. 

Biodiversity 

Cameroon is one of the most ecologically diverse countries in 
Africa (see for example Gartlan, 1989). The main reason for the 
high biodiversity of the forests is that they are an ancient and very 
stable system, panicularly in the lowland coastal forests. Present 
evidence suggests that the coastal forests persisted even in the cool, 
dry climate of around 1 8,000 years ago (see chapters 2 and 3) when 
the forest biome was much reduced. There are 9000 species of 
plants in the country, with at least 156 endemics including 45 on 
Mt Cameroon alone. A recent study found more than 200 species 
of woody plants in a sample site of 0.1 ha, a level of diversity com- 
parable with the highest in the world. Well over 1000 butterfly 
species have been recorded from the forests of the Bight of Biafra. 
This area is also a centre of diversity for frogs - eight genera are 
limited largely to the region. Cameroon contains some 297 species 
of mammal and 848 species of birds (Stuart et al, 1990). 

The Cameroon forests are a major centre of endemism for the gin- 
ger and arrowroot family (Zingiberaceae). One ^p&dt%, Aframomum 
gigantewn, also found in Gabon, has fronds reaching up to 6 m and 
is the tallest ginger plant in the world. Cola lepidoia and C. pachy- 
carpa, small trees bearing large, edible fruit, are also endemic to 
Cameroon. The yam, Dioscorea, is indigenous to the forests of the 
Bight of Biafra. There are several species within the genus but all 
protect their tubers with toxins. People learnt to destroy these poi- 
sons (by peeling, fermenting and cooking the tubers) many centuries 
ago, thus acquiring a staple crop that enables large numbers of peo- 
ple to live within the forest zone. Cameroon's forests are the centre 
of dispersion for the world's premier oil-producing plant, the oil 
palm Elaeis guineensis, and its major pollinator, Elaeidobhis kamenini- 
cus, is endemic to Cameroon. This weevil was exported to Southeast 
Asia in 1981 where, within one or two years of its introduction, oil 
production rose by almost 20 per cent. 

The montane forests of Cameroon, though not as rich in num- 
ber of bird species as the lowland forests, are particularly impor- 
tant for the 22 endemic bird species they suppon (Stuart, 1986). 
Bannerman's turaco Tauraco bannermani, is restricted to the mon- 
tane forests, while Mt Cameroon has an endemic francolin 
Francolinus camerunensis. The Mount Kupe bush-shrike 
Malaconotus kupeensis, another montane species, is one of the rarest 
birds in Africa (see case study on ICBP Conservation Projects). 
Endemism in this area is also high among animals that are poor 
dispersers such as amphibians and invertebrates. 

The lowland forests of Cameroon are of panicular importance 
for the conservation of primates. With 29 primate species, the 
country is the second richest in Africa in this respect. It contains 
such rare and threatened species as the drill Mandrillus leucophaeiis 
and the mandrill Mandrillus sphinx. Other species of conservation 
concern in the country include the gorilla Gonlla gorilla and chim- 
panzee Pan troglodytes, the black colobus Colobus satanas, Preuss's 
guenon Cercopiihecus preussi and the red-eared guenon 
Cercopithecus erythrotis. 

Cameroon is a major squirrel centre in Africa and includes 
endemics such as Paraxents cooperi, which are restricted to the mon- 
tane forest of Mt Cameroon. TTie flighdess scaly-tailed squirrel 
Zenkcrella itisignis is also endemic to Cameroon and is a very rare 
mammal belonging to the family which, 30 million years ago, con- 
tained the dominant rodents in Africa. All other members of the fam- 
ily, the anomalures, are gliders with broad membranes between their 
legs but Zenkeretla has no such membrane and is probably close to 



113 



Cameroon 




114 



Cameroon 




115 



Cameroon 



ICBP Conservation Projects in Cameroon 

The montane forests of Cameroon and Bioko island (see chapter 
18) and the adjacent region of Nigeria support 22 endemic species 
of bird (see Figure 13.1), and many other endemic animals and 
plants. Two of these birds, Bannerman's turaco and the banded 
watde-eye Platysteira laticmcta, are restricted to the Bamenda- 
Banso Highlands, where they are under serious threat from forest 
clearance. The only extensive area of forest remaining here is on 
Mt Oku, where ICBP, together with the government of 
Cameroon, is running a forest conservation project. The aim is to 
encourage sustainable use of the forest by the people of the sur- 
rounding villages, by helping to market forest products and plant 
trees to replace those cleared for firewood and timber. 

Another endemic bird, the Mount Kupe bush shrike is known 
only from this one mountain. A recent survey by an ICBP team 
located eight pairs of these birds and collected valuable infor- 
mation on the habitat of the species. The long-term aim is to 
develop a new project here, following the Mt Oku model. ICBP 
is mapping the distributions of all bird species in Africa whose 
overall range size is estimated at 50,000 sq. km or less. Areas 
with concentrations of such species are considered priorities for 
conservation action. Source: Michael Crosby 



Nigeria 

Obudu Ploleou 



□ Mt Oku 




Rumpi Hills [Jl 



0? 

Mt Monengubo 
Ml Nionoko 
Kupe 



t Cameroon 



I Bioko 



Mombiln Plolem 

D 



cP 



Ithobol Mbobo 



D 



Cameroon 



Key 

■ 10+spp 

■ 5-9 spp 
B 2-4 spp 
n Ispp 



Figure 13.1 The distribution of endemic birds in the 

Cameroon Highlands (Source: Smart « al., 1990) 



the primitive condition. Additional information on the biogeogra- 
phy of Cameroonian mammals is given in Kingdon (1990). 

The present diversity, and thus the conservation priority, of the 
various forests in Cameroon depends on their history. The coastal 
Biafran forests are a high priority, as are the submontane and the 
montane forests. The Congolese forests are also important, although 
marginally less diverse than the coastal forests. They are currently 
less degraded but are scheduled for logging and are thus in danger. 
The semi-deciduous forests are the least important for biodiversity. 

Conservation Areas 

The national protected area system comprises the seven national 
parks and eleven faunal reserves under the jurisdicDon of the Ministry 
of Tourism (Table 13.2). There are, in addition, approximately 125 
forest reserves under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture 
(MacKinnon and MacKirmon, 1986; Cardan, 1989). TTie national 
parks cover an area of 10,319 sq. km, only 1260 sq. km of which is 
in the dense forest zone, faunal reserves cover more than 10,372 sq. 
km (there is no data available on the size of the Sanaga Faimal 
Reserve) and the forest reserves cover an area of around 18,593 sq. 
km. The present total for the protected area system is thus at least 
4.4 per cent of the country's land area (or over 8.4 per cent if the for- 
est reserves are included) . The national goal, as set by the law of 1 98 1 , 
is 20 per cent. Apart from the listed areas, there is legal protection of 
river banks and watercourses. The law requires no environmentally 
destructive activiues for 50 m along each river bank and for 100 m 
around springs. There is, however, little enforcement of this law. 

Under 1981 legislation, most forest reserves on state lands will be 
reclassified as production forests although a few will be reclassified as 
protection forests. A protection forest is an area which protects a 
watershed, a steep slope or other physical feature. Current proposals 
for protection forests cover in total only about 50 sq. km of the coun- 
try. It is intended that they will be few in number and rather small. 

Most of the protected areas of biological significance are, there- 
fore, the national parks and faunal reserves. The national parks are. 



Table 13.2 Conservation areas of Cameroon 

Existing and proposed conservation areas are listed below. 
Hunting reserves (which offer little or no protection) and forest 
reserves are not listed. For data on World Heritage sites and 
Biosphere reserves see chapter 9. 





Existing area 


Proposed area 


National Parks 


(sq. km) 


(sq. km) 


Benouef 


1,800 




Bouba Ndjidahf 


2,200 




Farof 


3,300 




Kalamalouef 


45 




Korup* 


1,260 




Mozogo-Gokorof 


14 




Wazat 


1,700 




Faunal Reserves 






Bafiat 




420 


Campo* 


2,712 




Dja* 


5,260 




Douala-Edea* 


1,600 




Kalfout 


40 




Kimbi 


56 




Lac Lobeke* 


430 




Lac Ossa 


40 




Mbam et Djerem 




3,532 


Mbi Crater* 


4 




Nanga Ebokef 


160 




Ngorof 




270 


Sanagaf 


nd 




Santchouf 


70 





Totals 



20,691 



4,222 



(Source: WCMC, m Im.) 

* Area wilh moist forest within its boundaries according to Map 13.2. 
f Not mapped - location data not available for this project, or area located in the 
northern savanna zone of the country. 



116 



Cameroon 



by and large, found in the savanna zones, while the faunal reserves 
tend to be in the dense forest or transitional zones. Korup National 
Park is the only park in the dense forest zone; created in 1986 it 
covers 1260 sq. km or 12 per cent of the land area under this cate- 
gory of protection (see case study). While the legal protection of the 
faunal reserves is, theoretically, fairly robust, there have been 
problems. The Campo Faunal Reserve, established by the French 
colonial government in 1932 and protecting biologically important 
forests in the coastal zone, covers an area of 2712 sq. km. In 1968, 
logging activities covering 2370 sq. km were permitted on a 25-year 
licence. No special requirements for logging procedures in a faunal 
reserve were imposed and the current biological value of the reserve 
must be questioned. It is apparendy the intention of the logging com- 
pany to request a prolongation of the licence when it expires in 1993. 

Other faunal reserves have been degraded to the point of disap- 
pearance. Examples include the Sanaga River Faunal Reserve, estab- 
lished in colonial times to protect the hippopotamus, but destroyed 
by dam construction, and the Nanga Eboke Faunal Reserve which 
has been hunted out. Others are being actively invaded. For instance, 
45 per cent of the Santchou Faunal Reserve in the Westem Province 
has been converted to farms and plantations. Yet another problem is 
the proposed declassification of some areas. For example, the faunal 
reserve of Douala-Edea has a particular biological importance as it is 
bisected by the Sanaga River and has different species and subspecies 
on each bank. Yet development plans to the north of the reserve area 
are leading to pressure to declassify the northern section. The law 
requires that, in such a case, an area of equal size be added to the pro- 
tected area, but it will be impossible to add an area of equal biologi- 
cal value and the danger is that repeated declassification and reclas- 
sification will result in completely degraded forest. 

A major problem with the faunal reserves has been an inadequate 
budget and infrastructure. The boundaries are neither cleared nor 
marked. There are few guards and they are ill-equipped. The faunal 
reserves have not been developed as tourist attractions and they thus 
receive a much lower budgetary and infrastructure priority than do 
the nadonal parks. Realistically, in the dense forest zone, only the 
Korup National Park, Dja Faunal Reserve (also a Biosphere reserve 
and a World Heritage site) and the southern section of the Douala- 
Edea Reserve are protected. These (including all of Douala-Edea) 
total 8120 sq. km or 1.7 per cent of Cameroon's land area. 

The coverage of protected areas is inadequate. Montane, sub- 
montane and semi-deciduous forests are barely represented. The 
coastal forests need additional protection because much of the area 
has already been logged-over and degraded; parts of the Douala-Edea 



and the Campo Reserves have been effectively lost. The Congolese 
forests are under-protected. A scheme for extending protection for 
adequate coverage of the dense forest zone was presented by lUCN 
(Gartian, 1989). It is clear that if the intention is to double the out- 
put of timber, then it is even more important to implement an 
ecologically sound and effective scheme for the protection of all the 
various types of forest that make up the dense forest zone. 

Initiatives for Conservation 

A major initiative towards promoting conservation in Cameroon was 
die opening, in 1990, of a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) 
national office for the country. Cameroon was selected as one of five 
focal countries in Africa for the development of a national conser- 
vation programme. The implementation of such a programme can 
be expected to make a substantial difference to public awareness of 
environmental matters. One of the first actions of the country office 
has been to appoint a national coordinator to develop a programme 
for environmental education. The WWF Korup Project (see case 
study) integrates environmental protection and community devel- 
opment. The project has received support from several multilateral 
and bilateral development agencies. The WWF Mount Kilum 
Project (on Mt Oku) is designed to protect the highly endangered 
montane forest. To reduce pressure on the forest it encourages local 
communities to produce honey and supports farmers' cooperatives. 

A scheme to develop the Dja Faunal Reserve as a national park 
on broadly similar lines to the Kilum and Korup projects was 
recently initiated by the European Development Fimd. This scheme 
should protect an exceptionally important forest in the Cameroon- 
Congolese forest type. An EEC-funded buffer zone project will also 
promote agro forestry around the Dja Biosphere Reserve. 

The Ministry of Tourism was created in April 1989 and has the 
responsibility for the protection and management of the country's 
national parks and protected areas. The existence in the north of 
the country, at Garoua, of a school for the training of wildlife tech- 
nicians for the whole of francophone Africa has been a very useful 
tool for the dissemination of environmental information through- 
out much of the continent. Joint projects are being developed 
between the Wildlife School and WWF. 

One of the most encouraging recent developments in Cameroon 
has been the formation of a number of indigenous NGOs with an 
interest in the environment. This has been partly a result of internal 
political developments, but also a reaction to the global situation. 
The trend for conservation in Cameroon is now more positive, with 
considerably greater awareness than just a few years ago. 



References 

FAO (1988) All hitenm Report on the Stale of Forest Resources in the 

Developing Countries. FAO, Rome, Italy. 18 pp. 
FAO ( 1 990) Tropical Forestry Action Plan: Joint Interagency Planning and 

Review Mission for the Forestry Sector, Cameroon. FAO, Rome, Italy. 
FAO (1991) FAO Yearbook of Forest Product 1978-1989. FAO Forestry 

Series No. 24 and FAO Statistics Series No. 97. FAO, Rome, Italy. 
Gartian, S. (1989) La Conservation des Ecosystemes forestiers du 

Cameroun. UICN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 
Genieux, M. (1961) Climatologie du Cameroon. Atlas du Cameroun. 

ORSTOM, Yaounde, Cameroon. 
Hughes, R. H. and Hughes, J. S. (1991) A Directory of Afrotropical 

Wetlands. lUCN, Gland, SwiCzeriand and Cambridge, UK/UNEP, 

Nairobi, Kenya/WCMC, Cambridge, UK. 
nED (1987) Le Territoire Forestier Cameroiinais: les Ressources, les 

Intervenanls, les Politiques d'UtUisation. IIED, London, UK. 
Jeune Afiique (1988) Economie du Cameroun. Hors serie Collection 



Marches Nouveaux. Paris, France. 
Kingdon, J. S. (1990) Island Africa. Collins, London, UK. 287 pp. 
Letouzey, R. (1968) Elude Phytogeographique du Cameroun. 

Encyclopedic Biologiqiie LXIX. Paul Lechevalier, Paris, France. 
Letouzey, R. (1985) Notice de la Carte Phytogeographique du Cameroun 

au 1:500,000. Institut de la Cane Internationale de la Vegetation, 

Toulouse, France. 
MacKinnon, J. and MacKinnon, K. (1986) Review of the Protected 

Areas System in the Afrotropical Realm. lUCNAJNEP, Gland, 

Switzerland. 259 pp. 
SECA/CML (1987) Mangroves dAfrique el de Madagascar: les rnangrwes du 

Camermm. Societe d'Eco-amenagement, Ateseilles, France and Centre 

for Environmental Studies, University of Leiden, The Netheriands. 

Unpublished report to the European Commission, Bmssels. 
Stuart, S.N. (ed.) ( 1 986) Conservation of Cameroon Montane Forests. 

ICBP, Cambridge, UK. 



117 



Cameroon 

Stuart, S. N., Adams, J. R. and Jenkins, M. D. (1990) 
Biodiversity in Siib-Saharan Africa and its Islands: Conservation 
Management and Sustainable Use. Occasional Papers of the lUCN 
Species Survival Commission No. 6. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 

White, F. (1983) Tlie Vegetation of Afnea: a descriptive memoir to 
accompany the Unesco/AETFAT/UNSO vegetation map of Africa. 
Unesco, Paris, France. 356 pp. 

WRI (1990) World Resources 1990-91. Prepared by the World 
Resources Institute, UNEP and UNDP. Oxford University Press, 
Oxford, UK, and New York, USA. 

Authorship 

Steve Gartlan, WWT, Cameroon with contributions from Joseph B. 
Besong, Forestry Department, Yaounde, Michael Crosby, ICBP, 
Cambridge, Charles Doumenge, lUCN, Gland and Clive Wicks, 
WWF-UK. 



Map 13.1 Forest cover in Cameroon 

The data showing remaining forest cover in Cameroon were extracted from 
a published vegetation map Cane Phytogeographique du Camcrouti (1985), 
prepared by R. Letouzey for the Institut de la Carte Internationale de la 
Vegetation, Toulouse, France and the Institut de la Recherche 
Agronomique (Herbier National), Yaounde, Cameroon. At a scale of 
1:500,000 the national map has been separated into six sections and is 
published in six sheets. Sheet numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6, covering the southern, 
moist region of Cameroon, were digitised for Map 13.1. Some 267 
phytogeographical types have been categorised by Letouzey; of these, classes 
159-68, 185-90, 199, 203-7, 215-19, 228-33, 247-50, 266 have been 
harmonised into the lowland rain forest category portrayed on Map 13.1; 
classes 108 and 117 into montane forest; classes 155-7, 178-80, 193-7, 
211, 223,224,242, 243, 256, 259-61 into swamp forest and classes 262-5 
into the mangrove category. 

Protected areas were taken from a tourist map Road Map of Cameroon 
(1988) at a scale of 1:1,500,000 published by Macmillan and from spatial 
data held within WCMC files. 



KoRUP Project 

The Korup project aims to conserve a unique and biologically 
important forest through a programme of sustainable develop- 
ment, extension and conservation education which will raise the 
standard of living of the local people and provide them with a 
better future. The area managed within the project is situated in 
the dense evergreen humid Adantic Biafran coastal forest in the 
south-west comer of Cameroon. It consists of the Korup National 
Park, a fully protected area of 1260 sq. km, and a support zone 
of 3200 sq. km. The national park was created by Presidential 
decree in 1 986 and is currently the only rain forest national park 
in Cameroon. The project is contiguous with the proposed Oban 
National Park in Nigeria (see case study in chapter 27). 

iVlost of the original rain forest west of Korup and the Oban 
Hills has either been destroyed or severely disturbed and the large 
mammal fauna has essentially disappeared. Indeed, the entire for- 
est block along the 1 500 km stretch of coastline between the Niger 
River and Cote d'lvoire has virtually vanished. Korup itself is part 
of a Pleistocene refuge and the forest is over 60 million years old. 
It has been largely untouched by man, mainly because of the iso- 
lation of the forest and its generally poor soils. Korup contains 
over 3000 species of plants and vertebrate animals. 

The Korup project takes the view that no protected area can 
survive without the active support of the community that lives 
in or around it. One key principle is that, 'for every restriction 
imposed by the project in the interest of conservation, an equal 
opportunity should be provided'. The aim is to reconcile the 
people and their social and economic development with the pro- 
tection of the natural resource base. 

The main threats to the park came from the expanding popu- 
lation of Nigeria, many of whom cross into Cameroon to farm and 
hunt. The park is also threatened by the hunters in the six small 
villages inside the park and the 27 villages containing around 
12,000 people that live within 3 km of its boundaries. The villages 
inside the park are inhabited by approximately 750 people, who 
depend on hunting and slash and bum agriculture. They kill some 
12,000 animals, with a total weight over 140,000 kg, each year. 
These are sold in towns in Cameroon and Nigeria. Efforts have 
been made to find alternative sustainable sources of income for 
these villages. However, as they are situated on very poor acidic 
soils and are isolated both from each other and from any poten- 
tial markets for other cash crops, this has proved unsuccessful. 



The villagers want the same level of development as in other vil- 
lages outside the park, including road access to towns, hospitals 
and schools. As this cannot be provided inside the park, they have 
agreed to move to more fertile areas outside. Road systems are 
planned to allow development of these areas of better soil some 
distance from the park. The local people will still stay within their 
tribal area and within the Korup forest which has been their home 
for many years. All resettlement is voluntary and the people are 
being helped to build their own villages on sites of their own choice. 

The objective of the rural development programme is to 
replace the income and the protein obtained from unsustain- 
able hunting by other sources of income, and also to help the 
local community to develop sustainable land use systems, 
including agroforestry. The principle is to develop sustainable 
farming systems using the minimum amount of imported equip- 
ment and materials and thus mmimise destruction of the forest. 

The Ministry of Tourism is responsible for the project. World 
Wide Fund for Nature with financial support from the British 
and the US governments and the EEC has provided the main 
technical suppon. Other institutions, including the United 
Kingdom Natural Resources Institute, Wisconsin Primate 
Center, Missouri Botanical Garden and Wildlife Conservation 
International, have provided staff, finance or scientific advice. 

With contributions from aid agencies, WWF has already 
spent over US$2 million on the surveys needed to determine 
the views of the local people and to prepare a detailed manage- 
ment plan for the area, the implementation of which will cost 
about USS30 million. In addition, WWF has built the park 
headquarters and equipped it, an education centre has been 
established with an education officer employed to run it, a 
boundary line has been cut round the park and a 120 m sus- 
pension bridge has been built over a river into the park. Tourist 
and scientific camps have been set up. Two rural artisan train- 
ing centres and a women's institute have been provided with 
equipment. WWF has also supplied eight vehicles, motor 
cycles, outboard engines and garage equipment. 

The project will be judged a success when the villagers leave 
the park and are happily settled on good soils outside and when 
the local people provide the main protection for the park 
because they are convinced of its importance to them and their 
successors. Source: Clive Wicks 



118 



14 Central 

African 

Republic 



Land area 622,980 sq. km 

Population (mid- 1 990) 2 9 million 

Population growth rate in 1 990 2 5 per cent 

Population projected to 2020 5 9 million 

Gross notional product per capita ( 1 988) USS390 

Rain forest (see mop) 52,236 sq, km 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1 980)* 35,900 sq. km 

Annual deforestation rate (1981-5)* 50 sq km 

Industrial roundwood productiont 400,000 lu m 

Industrial roundwood exports) 28,000 cu m 

Fuelwood and charcool productiont 3,055,000 tu m 

Processed wood productiont 56,000 cu m 

Processed wood exports) 25,000 cu m 

• FAO (19881 

t 1 989 dola from FAO (1991 1 




Tlie sparseJy populated Central African Republic contained, until recently, some of the most spectacular wilderness areas 
in Africa. The larger mammals in the north have now been decimated by heavily armed bands of poachers from neigh- 
bouring Chad and Sudan, but the forests in the south still shelter a very rich fauna. These forests contain some of Africa's 
richest stands of valuable hardwoods, protected in part by the enormous cost of transporting the timber to the sea for 
export. The timber trade has declined in recent years in the face of competition from cheaper timbers from other African 
and Asian countries and it may continue to do so in spite of the threat posed by the construction of a major highway link- 
ing the capital, Bangui, with the Atlantic Ocean. 

The dense forests of the south-west are the scene of one of Africa's most interesting forest conservation projects: an 
attempt by WCI and NX^F to achieve forest protection and wise use in an area occupied by Aka pygmies. The project is 
supported by the World Bank and USAID. 



Introduction 

The Central African Republic (CAR), as its name suggests, is situ- 
ated in the heart of the African continent between 2° 13' and 
11°01'N and 14=25' and 27"27'E. It is bordered by Chad to the 
north, to the east by Sudan, to the south by Zaire and the Congo, 
and by Cameroon to the west. 

The country is an immense rolling plain oriented on a south- 
west to north-east axis. The altitude of this plateau varies between 
500-700 m, but it is bordered on the west and east by two moun- 
tain ranges. To the west the Massif du Yade and Mont Pana, an 
extension of the Adamaoua highlands of Cameroon, reach )4]0 m 
in height at Mont Ngaoui. In the east, the Massif des Bongo and the 
Massif du Dar Chala attain a height of 1330 m. In the south, there 
are sedimentary formations with sandstones and quartz forming a 
hilly region with many streams and rivers. In the north near Bria, a 
floodplain extends toward the Chad basin. Two large watersheds 
divide the country: one runs from west to east across the centre 
separating the Zaire and Chad basins, while the other, along the east- 
em border of CAR, separates the Chad, Zaire and Nile basins. 

Four principal climatic zones are distinguishable, with rainfall 
decreasing from south to north. The Congolese Equatorial climate, 
occurring in the region south of Bayanga and in the forest around 
Bangassou, is characterised by the absence of a true dry season, 
although there is less rainfall dunng January and February. Annual 
precipitation is over 1500 mm and temperatures here are around 
26'C with little seasonal or daily variation. Slightly further north, 
annual precipitation is still over 1 500 mm and there is high humid- 
ity throughout the year, but there is a dry season of at least three 
months each year (subequatorial climatic zone) . Temperatures in this 
region are much more variable: extreme values of 1 3°C in January 
and 40'"C in March and April have been recorded. The Sudano- 
Guinean climate is characterised by annual rainfall of around 1 400 



mm and a three to six month dry season. Lastly, in the far north, with 
a tropical-Sahelian climate, there is less than 1200 mm precipitation 
annually and the dry season is more than six months long. 

Vegetation broadly follows the climatic zones. In the south is the 
dense forest zone with both evergreen and deciduous trees. In the 
Sudanian zone there is dry forest with an upper canopy of decid- 
uous trees and a clear understorey. Elsewhere wooded savanna 
occurs with abundant grass cover and many trees and shrubs. The 
savanna-park zone is limited to the alluvial depressions south of 
the Chad basin and is composed of vast grasslands with small 
groups of trees. Finally, the Sudano-Sahelian zone contains few 
trees and much open grassland. Boulvert (1986) provides a more 
detailed description of the vegetation zones in CAR. 

Population density in CAR, at around four people per sq. km, 
is low compared to that in most other African countries. In the 
forests, the density is even lower, at only one person per 2 sq. km. 
Permanent settlements within the forest are few and localised but 
the entire area is used to a certain degree, particularly by the pyg- 
mies (generally referred to as Aka pygmies; see chapter 5) that live 
there, as well as by Bantu farmers. 

The Forests 

The common species of the dense evergreen forests are Pycnamhus 
angolensis, Lophira alata, Manilkara mabokecnsis, Pencopsis data, 
Trichilia heudeloiii, Ricinodendron heudelolii. Calamus spp., 
Pelersianlhus macrocarpiis, Lovoa trichilioides, Afzclia bipendensis, 
Guarea cedrala, Entandrophragma augolense, Monodora ntyristica, 
Pipladeniastnmi africamim and Piper gitineense. Throughout there 
are forests oi Diospyros spp., and in Mbaere and Lobaye there are 
forests of Heisleria paii'ifolia and of Uapaca guineensis with 
Amphiitias plerocarpoides and Penlaclethra macrophylla. 



119 



Central African Republic 

The semi-deciduous dense forest is characterised by two major 
types. The first, the forest of Cclns spp. and Triploclutoii sclcivxy- 
lon, is the most widespread. The other characteristic species of this 
type are: Celtis adolfi-fridenci, C. zenkeri, C. philippemis, C. mild- 
hraedii, Gambeya perpulchra, Aningeria altissima, Funtumia elastic^, 
Mausonia allissiina, Holoptelca giandis, Pterygota niacrocarpa, 
Nesogordonia kabingensis, Anliaris africaita and Tedea grandifoUu. 
The herbaceous plants include species such as Olyra lanfolui, 
Lepraspis cochleaia, Slreplogynu crinita and AniLVphophalhis spp. 

The second type of semi-deciduous forest, the forest of 
Aitbrevillea kerslingii and Khaya grandifoliola, forms the edge of the 
forest zone and the forest islands in savannas. Tripochlilon sclerox- 
yloii is always abundant, while other species characteristic of the 
type include Afzelia afncana, Albizia coriaria, Parkia fihcoidca, 
Berlinia grandifloni, Bligliia miijitgaui and Chaetaane aristata. 
Mansoma altissima, Gainbcya perpulchra and the various Celtis 
species are rare or absent. This forest type is very limited in the 
Carnot sandstone region, but is extensive in the Lobaye and 
Ombella-Mpoko areas. It is also common in the Mbomou district. 

The forests on the Camot sandstone are thought to be little dis- 
turbed. Characteristics species of secondary forests, such as Alilicia 
excelsa and Ceiba peiitandra, are either absent or occur only in low 
densities. It is probable that this is because streams in the area are 
few and far apart and most of them dry up from December to 
March so villages were never established in the region. 

In contrast, the forests of the Haute-Sangha and Basse-Lobaye 
districts on Precambrian geologic formations appear to be secondarv' 
forest. This characteristic is confirmed by the abundance of 
Mimosaceae (in particular various Albizia spp.), as well as 
Riciiiodendron heudelotii, Alsloma boonci and Ceiba pentandra. The 
most common commercial species in the Haute-Sangha forests are 
Tripocliliton scleroxylon, Teniunatia superba and Mansivna altissima. 

Forest Resources and Management 

The northern limit of the dense forest has receded in the past cen- 
turies as a result of a general drying of the climate. According to 
Aubreville (Sillans, 1958) the former northern limits followed a 
line connecting Zemio, Bakouma, Bambari and Boda then passed 
100 km nonh of Carnot before crossing the Cameroonian border. 
Recent Landsat imagery has been used to map the current extent 
of the forest zone (Boulvert, 1986), as shown on Map 14.1. 

Boulvert (1986) estimated the total amount of forest of all n,'pes 
in CAR to be 92,200 sq. km or close to 15 per cent of the coun- 
try's land area. This was made up of 37,500 sq. km of dense ever- 
green forest in the west, 10,000 sq. km of dense semi-deciduous 
forest in the east, 6500 sq. km of dry deciduous forest in the 
Sudanian zone (woodland in White's 1983 classification) and 
38,200 sq. km of semi-humid, dry forests and gallery forests. FAO 
(1988) estimated that closed broadleaved forest covered only 
35,900 sq. km of the country at the end of 1980 but it is not clear 
which of Boulvert's forest types were included in this figure - pre- 
sumably only the dense evergreen and semi-deciduous forest. Map 
14.1, which has been produced from the map that accompanies 
Boulvert's report (see Map Legend on p. 124) and includes his 
dense evergreen and semi-deciduous forest as lowland rain forest 
(Table 14.1), indicates that there are 47,405 sq. km of this forest 
type and 4831 sq. km of inland swamp forest in the country. 

Commercial forest exploitation in CAR began in 1945 on a small 
scale, and until 1970 was limited to the Lobaye Prefecture, within 
a 1 30 km radius of Bangui. The first forestry permits were allo- 
cated in the Haute-Sangha Prefecture in 1967 after a forest inven- 
tory had been carried out by the French Centre Technique 
Forestier Tropical (CTFT, 1967). Indeed, CAR was the only 



Table 14.1 Estimates of forest extent in the Central African Republic 
Area (sq. km) % of land area 



Rain Forests 
Lowland 
Swamp 



47,405 
4,831 



7.6 
0.8 



Totals 52,236 8.4 

(Based on analysis of .Map 14 1- See Map Lx'gend on p, 124 for details of sources.) 



African country to have undertaken a substantial inventory of for- 
est resources before issuing exploitation permits. It was also the 
first francophone country in Africa to have established detailed 
forestry regulations and management schemes before beginning 
logging. In addition, in contrast to other African countries, CAR 
encouraged the transformation of raw wood; as early as 1970, 72 
per cent of the timber was processed within the country. 

In 1970, the Central African Republic Forest Service estimated 
that 80 per cent of the southern dense forest was economically 
exploitable (24,000 sq. km). In CAR the principal tree species 
being cut are ayous Triplochiton scleroxylon, limba Terminalia 
superba, sipo Entandrophragma utile, sapele E. cylindricum, tiama E. 
angolense, eyong Eribroma oblonga, and dibetou Lovoa trichilioides. 
Ayous comes mostly from the northern area of the forest, where it 
is found at a density of 80-90 stems (dbh greater than 60 cm - the 
minimum diameter for felling any of these commercial tree species) 
on a 25 ha plot. This tree has a white wood and is principally used 
for plywood. Limba is also cut for plywood, but is found at much 
lower densities - 1 5 or more stems per 25 ha plot is considered rich 
for this species. Sipo, sapele, tiama, and dibetou come from the 
southern area. Sipo is very rare, on average one stem over 60 cm 
dbh per 25 ha plot, and is the most expensive timber. Its rich red 
wood is used in making fine furniture. Sapele, also a red wood, is 
used mostly for planks and veneers of high quality. Each tree cut 
represents approximately 12-14 cu. m of timber. The estimated 
volumes of the principal tree species cut in 1 970 are shown in Table 
14.2. Germany has provided the greatest market for wood from 
CAR, followed by Romania, Spain, Portugal and Poland. 

There are currently eight forestry companies in the country, four 
m the Lobaye Prefecture and four in Haute-Sangha and Sangha- 
Mbaere Prefectures. Even though the forests of Central Africa have 
great potential commercial value, production is limited by the dis- 
tance from the international markets. Transportation from Bangui 
to the Atlantic Ocean at Pointe Noire is a journey of 1210 km by 



Table 14.2 Estimated volumes of tree species cut in CAR in 1970 

Species I 'olume (1000 cu.m) 

Limba {Terminalia superba) 24,900 

Sapele (Entandrophragma cylindncum) 23,600 

Ayous {Triplochiton scleroxylon) 16,900 

Bete (Mansoma altissima) 2,400 

Mukulungu {Autranetla congoknsis) 2,300 

Tiama {Entandrophragma angolense) 1 ,700 

Iroko {Milicia excelsa) 1,700 

Kosipo {Entandrophragma candollei) 1,500 

Sipo {Entandrophragma utile) 1,500 

Dibetou {Lovoa trichilioides) 1 ,400 

Doussie {Afzelia spp.) 700 

Khaya {Khaya ivorensis) 600 



120 



Central African Republic 



river and 5 1 5 km by rail. The logging companies in the west of the 
country (Sangha-Mbaere Prefecture) are 1250 km from Pointe 
Noire by the Sangha and Congo rivers and, again, 515 km by rail. 
There are only a few months of the year when river levels permit 
exportation and there is a great deal of loss in stockage and trans- 
port. Transport costs account for 60 per cent of the final product 
price and, as fuel costs rise rapidly, many companies have been 
forced out of business in recent years. Production has, indeed, been 
declining because of these high overheads (Figure 14.1). 

The '4th Parallel' road, which will eventually link Bangui with 
the Atlantic port of Kribi in Cameroon, has been completed from 
Bambio to Yamendo (40 km north of Nola) and most companies 
are turning towards road export of logs by way of Cameroon. 
Although this road will facilitate the export of logs from CAR, a 
vast increase in producdon will be necessary to justify the con- 
struction costs of the road. The road could be the salvation of the 
wood industry in CAR but a disaster for the forest, its wildlife and 
people. Already there is evidence of unregulated exploitation and 
lack of control along the road. Logging companies have con- 
structed unauthorised feeder roads and have begun felling and 
transportation without the consent of the Forestry Department. 
The only control of exploitation and poaching along the road is by 
two guards posted at Bambio and they have no means of transport. 

Logging is the third largest export industry in CAR after dia- 
monds and coffee. Between 1980 and 1985, its annul contribution 
to the national economy was approximately USS8 million, that is, 
between 3.8 per cent and 5.5 per cent of national export earnings. 
In 1981, logging provided 15.5 per cent of direct employment 
(forestry is the largest employer in the country) and 12 per cent of 
all salaries in the 'modern sector'. In spite of its obvious impor- 
tance to CAR, it is necessary to examine the ecological and social 
costs associated with commercial logging. Economic analyses of 
the forestry sector have not looked at the value of the intact forest 
to the local population who depend on many non-timber forest 
products for food, medicines and other materials. Little attention 
has been given either to the consequences of the rapid extermina- 
tion of forest wildlife or the loss of the ecological benefits of the 
intact forest. The benefits and losses need to be carefully re-eval- 
uated, taking all these factors into consideration. 

Due to the high costs associated with logging, only the most 
valuable trees are selectively extracted from the forest, removing 
only a few large trees per hectare. However, considerable distur- 
bance to the forest is caused by the roads constructed to extract 
this wood. If there is a sufficient density of commercially valuable 
trees in a sector, a grid system of roads is laid out. This grid con- 
sists of a principal road with parallel secondary' roads cut each kilo- 
metre perpendicular to the principal road. A skidder path is cut 
between each secondary road (every 500 m), parallel to them, and 
another series of skidder paths is cut every 250 m perpendicular to 
the secondary roads and connecting them. The principal road is 
clear-cut and graded to approximately 50 m in width, while the sec- 
ondary roads are cut and graded to around 40 m wide. Skidder paths 
are ungraded, but are clear-cut to approximately 25 m in width. The 
selective logging itself removes a relatively small number of trees, 
but many more are cut down in the process of making the roads. 

These roads also provide easy access for hunters: the large num- 
bers of transient workers, who come long distances to work in the log- 
ging operations, provide a ready market for the meat. Primates, 
including gorillas Gonlla gorilla and chimpanzees Pan iroghdytcs, are 
prime targets for hunters. The Aka traditionally hunt monkeys with 
crossbows with poison tipped arrows, but the advent of the shotgun 
has meant that many more individuals can be killed. Duikers Cephal- 
opliiis spp. are also widely sought after for food by Aka as well as by 




1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 
Year 



Figure 14.1 Production of industrial roundwood in CAR 

1977-88 (Source: FAO, 1 990) 

Bantu hunters and they, particularly the blue duiker C. inonticola, are 
the most common species sold in local markets. The principal means 
of trapping these animals is with snares, even though this is illegal. The 
snares were originally of rope made from vegetable material, but are 
now made predominandy from metal cable. The cable is often derived 
from strands unwound off larger cables discarded by the logging firms, 
or is made from motor-cycle brake cables. The snares are set along 
game trails and catch the passing animal by the leg. Duikers can also 
be dnven into large nets strung through the underbrush. Even snakes 
are eaten and tortoises Kinixys spp. are frequendy a major food of Aka 
hunting parties. Hunung for subsistence using traditional methods 
such as those practised by the Aka (for example, using spears, nets and 
rope snares) is permitted for all non-protected species. 

Deforestation 

The only figure for deforestation rate in CAR is that of FAO (1988) 
which estimated that 50 sq. km of closed broadleaved forests were 
lost annually between 1981 and 1985. Much more extensive areas 
of open forest (500 sq. km) are thought to be lost each year. 
However, there are accounts of a major fire in the forest areas west 
of Bangui in 1983. The fate of these forests after burning is not 
known. Rural populations are increasing only slowly as population 
growth is counteracted by migration to towns, but it is likely that 
some forest may be at risk from people moving into the forest belt to 
avoid drought and desertification in the Sahelian and Sudanian zones 
to the north. Hearsay accounts by specialists with long experience in 
the country suggest that forests are encroaching on savannas in areas 
where roads have fallen into disuse and people have moved away. The 
4th parallel road will certainly attract people into the forest areas that 
it crosses and will provoke some deforestation. The overall situation 
appears to be one of relative equilibrium between localised forest loss 
in more accessible areas and gain in depopulated forest zones. The 
major threats come from new infrastructure, large scale population 
movements and fire in disturbed forest areas. The latter threat may 
be exacerbated by regional and global climate changes. 

Biodiversity 

The flora of the Central African Republic is ver\' poorly known. At 
least 3600 plant species have been recorded but there are proba- 
bly nearer 5000 in the country (Davis er ai, 1986). There is a con- 
centration of endemic species on the hills of the north-east. 

There are 19 or 20 species of primate recorded in CAR (Oates, 
1986), of which 16 are recorded in the forest. They range in size 
from the tiny (60 g) dwarf galago Galagoides demidoff, to the huge 
180 kg gorilla. They include the chimpanzee, six species of 



121 



Central African Republic 



Cercopithecus and the crested and grey-cheeked mangabey, 
Cercocebus galeritiis and C. albigena respectively. The striking black- 
and-white colobus monkey Colobiis guercza, and the red colobus 
Pwcolobus [badius] nifoDiiiratus are also found in the forests. 

Two subspecies of the African elephant occur in CAR, 
Loxodoiita africana africana in the northern savanna zone, and L. 
a. cydotis in the lowland forest. In some forests, the elephants make 
trails which crisscross the area and these open corridors through 
the dense undergrowth are the major thoroughfares of the Aka peo- 
ple. However, elephants remain in significant numbers only in the 
forests of south-western CAR m the newly created Dzanga-Sangha 
Dense Forest Faunal Reserve which incorporates Dzanga-Ndoki 
National Park. In most other areas of the forest elephants have been 
virtually eliminated by ivory poachers. Similarly, the black 
rhinoceros Diceros biconiis longipes, has been reduced almost to 
extinction. In 1970, it was estimated that there were 3000 rhinos 
in the country but, by 1984, only 170 remained (Western and 
Vigne, 1985) and now just a few scattered individuals persist. 

Forest antelopes found within CAR include bongo Tragelaphns 
ewyceros, sitatunga T. spekei, chevrotain Hye)nosclnis aquaticus and 
six species of duiker. A dwarf form of the African buffalo Syncents 
caffer nanus is found in the lowland forests. Two species of wild 
pigs are found in the dense forest, the giant forest hog Hylochoenis 
iiieincrtshageni and the bushpig Potamochoerus porciis. 

Approximately 700 species of birds have been recorded for the 
country (Carroll, 1988), over 400 in the forested regions. The first 
breeding record of the rare brown nightjar Capnnndgiis hinotatus was 
made in the Bayanga region (Carroll and Fry, 1987). Only one bird 
species is listed as threatened in CAR, the shoebill Balaeniceps rex, 
and this inhabits swamps, not forests (Collar and Stuart, 1985). 



Several spectacular reptiles are found in the dense forest zone. 
Most notable are the highly venomous gaboon and rhinoceros 
vipers {Buis gabonica and B. nasiconus respectively). The huge 
African python Python sebae is also found in the forest. 

Conservation Areas 

An autonomous organisation, the Centre National pour la 
Protection et I'Amenagement de la Faune (CENPAF) within the 
Department of Wildlife and National Parks is responsible for pro- 
tected area management. Reserves cover 10 percent (Table 14.3) 
of the country's land area but, in general, management and pro- 
tection of them is poor. The creation of Dzanga-Sangha Reserve 
and the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park, December 1990 has added 
a considerable extent of forest to the protected areas system. 

The Biosphere reserve of the Basse-Lobaye, on the border with 
the Congo, is one of the few other protected areas of forest. It was 
established for ethnographic studies of the pygmies. Large mam- 
mals have been exterminated from it by heavy hunting and parts 
of this reserve are currently being logged. 

Initiatives for Conservation 

Following wildlife surveys in the Bayanga region of south-west 
CAR, conducted by teams supported by Wildlife Conservation 
International (WCI) and WWF, the Dzanga-Sangha Reserve and 
the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park were created (see case study). 
The management of this reser\-e and park system has been sup- 
ported by WWF-USAJSAID as a 'Wildlands and Human Needs' 
project, and has received additional support from the World Bank. 
As part of a regional conservation programme the EEC will be sup- 
porting a project in the Mbaere-Bodingue-Ngoto forest region. This 




Central African Republic 



Table 14.3 Conservation areas of the Central African Republic 

Existing and proposed conservation areas are listed below. Forest reserves 
are not listed or mapped. For data on Biosphere reserves and World Heritage 
sites see chapter 9. Note that only the moist, southern half of the Central 
African Republic is mapped in this Atlas, therefore Dzanga-Sangha Dense 
Forest Faunal Reserve is the only conservation area shown on Map 14.1. 



National Parks 


Exist 


ing area 


Proposed area 




Oi 


. km) 


(sq. km) 


Andre Felixf 




1,700 




Bamingui-Bangoranf 




10,700 




Manovo-Gounda-Saint Florisf 




17,400 




Dzanga-Ndoki*' 




1,287 




Stria Nature Reserves 








Vassako-Bolot 




860 




Conservation Areas 








Tri-National Rainforest*! 






10,500 


(CAR, Cameroon, Congo) 









Special Reserves 
Eastern CAR Elephantf 



Faunal Reserves 

Aouk-Aoukalef 

Bahr Oulouf 

Gribingui-Baminguif 

Koukourou-Baminguit 

Nan-Baryaf 

Ouandjia-Vakagat 

Yata-Ngayaf 

Zemongof 

Dzanga-Sangha Dense Forest* 

Private Resen'es 

Avakaba Presidential Parkf 

Totals 



'xisting area 


Proposed area 


(sq. km) 


(sq. km) 


3,300 






3,200 


4,380 




1,100 




2,300 




1,300 




4,200 




10,100 




4,359 





1,750 
63,449 



213,700 



200,000 



(Sources: WCMC, m tin.; R, Carroll, pers. comm.) 

* Area with moist forest within its boundaries. 

-f Not mapped - no location data available, or areas located in nonhem savanna 

zones of the countn'. 
' Dzanga-NMoki National Park is situated within Dzanga-Sangha Faunal Reserve; its 

area is therefore not included in the total area. 



is an important conservation effort as this forest is traversed by the 
newly completed 4th parallel road. The project aims to protect the for- 
est after logging and manage it to encourage regeneration of valuable 
timber trees. A core area will be totally protected as a nature reserve. 
At the time of writing, surveys are being undertaken by W^XT-, 
WCI and the Expenment in International Living to create a tri- 
national conservation area centred around the Dzanga-Sangha area 
in CAR. The aims of the project are to conserve and manage the for- 



est in the contiguous areas of northern Congo, in the Nouabale 
region, and in south-eastern Cameroon in the Lake Lobeke forests. 
This would encompass an area of over 10,000 sq. km of forest with 
up to 1 5,000 elephants and a rich forest fauna. It is anticipated that 
these areas would be managed in an integrated fashion with core 
areas, multiple use zones and community development zones. 

WWF is funding a survey of the forests in the Bangassou region to 
assess their conservation potential. This survey began in early 1991. 




Map 14.1 Central 
African Republic 



Rain Forest 

lowland 
inland swamp 

Conservation areas 

existing 

Non Forest 

1:3,000,000 

50 



t"vXft\'w;KvViwv''5'y^'^ 



C 



100 



150 







50 



km 
miles 



ZAIRE 



22°E 




123 



Central African Republic 



Forests of the Dzanga-Sangha Region 

The Dzanga-Sangha Dense Forest Faunal Resen'e and the 
Dzanga-Ndoki National Park system cover approximately 4350 
sq. km of dense forest in the southern part of CAR, with 1287 
sq. km gazetted as national park and the rest as a multiple use 
reserve. This system is managed to integrate conservation and 
regional development. The area contains the last unlogged for- 
est and intact fauna in the countn,'. Elephants reach very high 
densities (0.9 individuals per sq. km), with major points of con- 
centration around the marshy clearings with saline deposits. 
One such clearing, Dzanga, means, according to the Aka, the 
village of elephants. Several other such large clearings occur 
throughout the forest and are all connected by a network of ele- 
phant trails. These clearings offer excellent wildlife viewing and 
with proper management, have great potential for tourism 
development. 

Lowland gorillas reach population densities of between 0.2 
and 1 1 per sq. km in various habitats, being most frequent in 
secondary forest and light gaps, but also occurring in priman,' 
forest and marshy areas. Chimpanzees and 1 6 other species of 
primates are found throughout the park/reserve area. Bongo, 
dwarf forest buffalo and six species of duiker are common in the 
Dzanga-Sangha forest. 

The aims of the Dzanga-Sangha project are the conserN'ation 
of the forest and its wildlife, sustainable use of these resources, 
and the development of options for economic development con- 
sistent with the conservation goal. Management of hunting in 
the reserve allows for sustainable offtake by traditional hunters. 



while community development activities such as health and sani- 
tation programmes, fisheries development, agroforestry, and 
small enterprise development attempt to provide alternatives to 
over-harvesting the wildlife population. Payments from tourism 
and safari hunting are made directly to the reserve managers 
and divided between the community and management of the 
reserve. In this way, the people receive direct financial benefits 
from the conservation of their wildlife, and therefore realise that 
it is worth supporting the effort. 

Bongo Tragelaphus euryceros, an elusive forest antelope, at a 
salt lick in the Dzanga-Saiigha National Park. G. Renson 




References 

Boulvert, Y. (1986) Republique Centrafricaine . Carte Phyto- 

geographique a 1:1,000,000. Notice explicative # 104. ORSTOM, 

Paris, France. 
Carroll, R. W. (1988) Birds of CAR. Malinibiis 10: 177-200. 
Carroll, R. W. and Fry, H. (1986) A range extension and prob- 
able breeding record of the brown nightjar {Caprimiilgus binoia- 

tiis Bonaparte) in south-western CAR. Alaliinbus 9: 125-7. 
Collar, N. J. and Stuart, S. N. (1985) Threatened Birds of Africa 

and Related Island. The ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book Pan 1. 

ICBP/IUCN, Cambridge, UK. 761 pp. 
CTFT (1967) Iiiventaire forestier dans le Secteitr de Nola. Centre 

Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 
Davis, S. D., Droop, S. J. M., Gregerson, P., Henson, L., Leon, 

C. J., Villa-Lobos, J. L., Synge, H. and Zantovska, J. 

(1986) Plants in Danger: W^iat do zve know? lUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 
FAO (1988) An Intenm Report on the State of Forest Resources in 

the Developing Countries. FAO, Rome, Italy. 18 pp. 
FAO (1990) FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 1977-1988 FAO 

Forestry Series No. 23, Statistics Series No. 90. FAO, Rome, 

Italy. 
FAO (1991) FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 1 978- 1 989. FAO 

Forestr>' Series No. 24, Statistics Series No. 97. FAO, Rome, 

Italy. 
Oates, J. F. (1986) Action Plan for African Prinmte Conserz'ation 

1986-90. lUCN/SSC Pnmate Specialist Group, Stony Brook, 

New York, USA. 



Sillans, R. (1958) Les Savannes de lAfrique Centrale. Essai sur la 
Physiognomonie, la Structure et le Dynamisme des Formations 
Vegetales Ligneuses des Regions Seches de la RCA. Lechevalier, 
Paris, France. 

Western, D. and Vigne, L. (1985) The deteriorating status of 
African rhinos. Oryx 19: 215-20. 

Authorship 

Richard Carroll, in Dzanga-Sangha, CAR. 

Map 14.1 Forest cover in the Central African Republic 
Forest data shown on Map 14.1 were extracted from a published map Cane 
Pkywgiograplnquc de la Rt-piibli(]iic Ccntrafricamc ( 1 985), at a scale of 1 : 1 million. 
The map was prepared for ORSTOM (Institut Franfaise de Recherche 
Scientifique pour le Developpement en Cooperation), Bondy, France, by Y. 
Boulvert and published in association with the Ministere des Relations 
Exterieures (France) Ser\-ice de la Cooperation et du Developpement Fonds 
d'Aide et de Cooperation. The vegetation shown on this map has been 
categorised into 149 phytogeographical types. Categories 137-143 (l\'.B. 
Seaeur Congo-Gumeeu Jc la forci dense hunttde) have been digitised and are 
depicted on Map 14.1 as lowland rain forest; categories 144 (Foret npieole a 
motidaiion prolongee a Uapaca heudelotii et Cathormion altissimum) and 145 
(Forei a iiioiidation leniporaire) have been harmonised into the swamp forest 
category, also shown on Map 14.1. 

The mapped conservation area, Dzanga-Sangha Dense Forest Faunal 
Resen-e, has been taken from an unpublished manuscript, \\AX'F-US and New- 
York Zoological Society Creauoii, Deiehppcnieiil, Protection el Aiiienagemenl du 
Saneluaire de ForeT Dense de Dzanga-Sangha et Pare National Dzanga-Ndokt, 
Republique Cenlrajncaine (1987). 



124 



15 Congo 



Land area 341,500 sq. km 




Population (mid- 1 990) 2 2 million 


' 


Population growth rate In 1 990 3 per cenl 




Population projected to 2020 5 million 


- 


Gross national product per capita ( 1 988) USS930 




Closed broadleaved forest (end 1980)' 213,400 sq. km 


'■ ■ " . ^j 


Annual delorestotion rate (1981 -5)' 220 sq. km 


-^^^V. 


Industrial roundwood production! 1 ,524,000 cu. m 


Industrial roundwood exports! 961,000 (u m 
Fuelwood and charcoal production! 1 ,776,000 lu. m 


^_ 


( 


Processed wood production! 100,000 cu. m 


\ 


Processed wood exports! 53,000 cu. m 


) 


• FAO(1988) 


/ r 


t 1989dolofromFAO|l99ll 


\ "f^'''- 



The Congo exhibits a considerable diversity of landscapes and natural environments and hosts an impressive array of both 
plant and animal species. As in neighbouring Zaire, the forests have remained relatively intact so that today the Congo is 
the second most densely forested countr\' in the Afrotropical realm. It contains large areas of both lowland and swamp for- 
est. Up to the 1970s, timber was the main source of revenue for the country, although this has since been surpassed with 
the discovery of oil. Nonetheless, the forests of the Congo have considerable importance and potential. The authorities 
recognise the value of forests for the economy and have invested heavily in forestry planning and in several successful plan- 
tation schemes. At the time of preparing this Atlas no comprehensive map of the forests existed and the editors have been 
obliged to use a sketch map prepared by lUCN staff based on local kmowledge. 



Introduction 

The Congo - or People's Republic of Congo - was formerly one 
of four territories includeci in French Equatorial Africa, along with 
the Central African Republic, Chaci and Gabon. The Congo strad- 
dles the Equator between latitudes 3'34'N and 5'S and longitudes 
lUll'E and 18"35'E, and is bordered by Gabon to the west, 
Cabinda (Angola) to the south, Zaire to the south and east, and 
Cameroon and the Central African Republic to the north. A 200 
km Atlantic Ocean coastline in the extreme south-west of the coun- 
try gives access to the sea. 

The coastal plain, about 60 km wide with an altitude of 0-200 
m above sea level, is covered in mixed savanna and forest. This 
rises to low hills and then to the Mayombe massif which crosses 
the country on a south-east to north-west incline. The low-lying 
savanna plain of Niari separates this massif, which rises to around 
1000 m, and the more northerly Chaillu massif (400-900 m). Both 
these massifs are still forested. Further north is a central savanna 
zone with the Bateke and Cataractes plateaux, which are between 
400 and 800 m in altitude. In the nonh-west is the massif of 
Sangha, another heavily forested region, which rises to 1 000 m near 
Souanke. Finally, in the north-east the 'Cuvette Congolaise' is a 
vast area of swamp forest at an altitude of between 200 and 400 m 
above sea level (see Figure 15.1). 

Rainfall is generally highest in the north of the country- and 
decreases towards the south. The coastal region receives around 
1200-1700 mm of rain per year and has a four or five month dry 
season between May and September; in the central area annual 
rainfall is between 1600 and 2000 mm and the dry season is one 
to three months long. In the north, precipitation is around 1800 
mm and there is no totally dry month (UICN, 1 990). Mean annual 
temperatures are between 23" and 27'C. 

The Congo is home to more than two million people and has an 
annual population growth rate of 3 per cent; approximately 67 per 
cent of the countr>''s inhabitants are less than 20 years of age. The 
average population density is six people per sq. km but about half 



the population live in an urban environment, with the vast major- 
ity of these living in the capital, Brazzaville, and in Pointe Noire 
on the coast (UICN, 1990). Indeed, around 82 per cent of the 
population live in the region between Brazzaville and the coast. 
Northern Congo is among the most sparsely populated regions of 
Africa with an average of only 1-3 persons per sq. km. Rural com- 
munities tend to concentrate along main access routes, such as 
rivers, roads or the railway line from Brazzaville to Pointe Noire. 
Aka and Bakola pygmies live in the forests of northern Congo and 
there are smaller numbers of Babango pygmies in the south. 

Farming is the main activity of rural people and in 1986, 13.6 
per cent of the population were engaged in agriculture. 
Approximately 2000 sq. km are currendy cultivated, but it is esti- 
mated that some 100,000 sq. km (30 per cent of the country) has 
potential for traditional forms of farming. Agriculture falls into 
three categories: traditional, state-operated and private industrial 
ventures. The traditional farmers exploit about 70 per cent of the 
existing agricultural land and produce appro.ximately 98 per cent 
of the country's basic foods, such as manioc, bananas, plantains 
and maize. However, the difficult life in many village communities 
and the attractions of employment in the cities, are causing an exo- 
dus from rural areas. This is not in keeping with the state's plan to 
achieve self-sufficiency in food requirements by the year 2000. The 
state-owned sector exploits only 27 per cent of the cultivated land, 
but uses 95 per cent of the budget allocated for agriculture and 
employs just 5 per cent of the country's agricultural work force. 
The main products of the state sector are palm oil and sugar cane. 
Offshore fishing is slowly developing as a small industry, while 
coastal and riverine fishing is conducted largely on a subsistence 
basis. 

As recenriy as the 1970s, timber was the main export and source 
of revenue for the Congo. However, this has changed in recent 
years with the discovery of oil, which is now the main export. 
Timber and veneer are the next most important exports. 



125 



Congo 



IRIi] Dryland forest 

^ Swomp forest 

[JJUI Grossland/forest mosaic 

I I Predominantly 
grassland 



Kouilou- 




(atorocles 
Plateau 



Figure 15.1 The regions of the Congo 



(.Source: V\CN, 19Q0) 



The Forests 

There are two main types of moist forest in the Congo: swamp 
forest and dry lowland forest. The latter is found mostly on the 
massifs of the Mayombe and Chaillu in the south and in Sangha 
in the north-west. The swamp forests are found in the north-east 
in the Cuvette Congolaise. 

In the south, the forests of the Mayombe are mostly semi-decid- 
uous and account for almost 3 per cent of Congo's territory. They 
are biologically extremely rich, and contain important timber species 
such as Aiicoiiiiiea kUiiiicaiia, Staitdlia gahonensis, Dacryodes spp., 
Naiidea didenichii and P\>cnanlhus angoknsis, which are widely dis- 
tributed. Tcriniiitilici siipcrbci, Berlinia grandifolia and Oxvstigiiia o.xy- 
phyllmn are also important, but are more restricted in distribution. 

Forests on the Chaillu massif are partially deciduous and comprise 
1 1 per cent of the country. These forests are dominated by Aucownea 
klaineana, Terminalia superba and Enlandwphragma utile. This region 
also has a particularly high abundance oi Lovoa trichilioides. 

The rain forests of northern Congo are also partially deciduous 
and are rich in the following groups of plants: Meliaceae 
(Enrandwphragiiia cylindricuin, E. candollei, E. utile, E. angolense, 
Khaya anthotheca, Guarea spp.), and Leguminosae {Piptadcnias- 
trum africatium, Pterocarpus soyauxii, Etythrophleum spp.). Other 
groups, such as Irvingiaceae, are distributed throughout the 
forest, while species such as Terminalia superba (frake) and 
Tnplochiton scleroxylon (ayous) are locally abundant. These 
forests, which occupy 31 per cent of the country's surface area, 
present a number of interesting transition zones with the semi- 
deciduous Sterculiaceae-Ulmaceae forests of Cameroon, the 
mesophile forests of central Congo and the swamp forests of the 
Congo basin. Evergreen forests include some pure stands of 
Gilbertiodendron dewevreivjhWt, in other areas, this species is asso- 
ciated with other rainforest and swamp forest species (Begue, 
1967). An understorey dominated by Marantaceae and 
Zingiberaceae is widespread, for example in the Odzala National 
Park (lUCN, 1991). 



Inland swamp forests are well developed along several rivers in the 
country, as well as in the Cuvette Congolaise. They are complex 
forests, characterised by an abundance of such species as 
Entandrophragtna palustre, Uapaca hcudetotu, Manitkara spp., 
Garcima spp., Stercutia subviotacea and Alstoma congensis. The forests 
of the Cuvette are similar to those of the central Zaire Depression. 
The northern forests have a canopy 25-30 m high with emergents 
above that, while those in the south tend to have a canopy of about 
20 m. Raphia palms occupy significant areas within the inland swamp 
forests. On the banks of certain large rivers and on the islands of north- 
em Congo, there are several stands oiGuibcunia demeusei (copal tree), 
which occur on only the highest reaches above the flood plain. 

In addition, stretched along the length of the littoral zone there 
are relict coastal forests which are rich in species such as Symphonia 
globulifera, Pentaclethra macrophylla, Pycnanthus angoknsis and 
Chrysobalanaceae spp. However, in most of the coastal area only 
thickets, bush and mangroves remain. 

There are also dry, semi-evergreen forests, characteristic of 
regions further north, scattered throughout the savannas in the 
centre of the country. Principal tree species are Millcttia laureniii, 
Pentaclethra eetveldeana, Staudtia gahonensis, Petersianthus macro- 
carpus and Trichilia heudelotii. 

Mangroves 

The mangrove Rhizcphora racemosa occurs in association with 
Phoenix reclinata in the Conkouati Wildlife Reserve, in the extreme 
south-western corner, bordering Gabon. The extent and size of 
these mangroves has not been determined and the conservation 
status of mangroves, in general, in the Congo is poorly known; thus 
they have not been mapped in this Atlas. Mangroves certainly 
occur elsewhere along the coastline and at the mouths of some of 
the major rivers, including the Noumbi, Loeme and Kouilou, but 
there is little information on the extent or status of these. Some of 
the mangroves have been cleared in forestry operations and the 
timber is widely used for fuelwood. 

Forest Resources and Management 

One of the most striking features of the Congo is the sheer extent of 
its forests. Just over 213,000 sq. km of land, some 65 per cent of the 
country is still forested (lUCN, 1990). In Africa, these forests are 
rivalled in extent only by those in Zaire. The Congo has almost 1 
per cent of the continent's closed forest and 12.3 per cent of that of 
Central Africa (UICN, 1990). The lowland forests occupy approxi- 
mately 45 per cent of the country's total area, while the swamp forests 
occupy around 20 percent. Map 15.1 has been digitised from a gen- 
eralised hand-drawn original (see Map Legend on p. 132) and con- 
sequently the figures derived from it may be unreliable. As a result, 
a figure for rain forest cover has not been quoted at the beginning of 
this chapter, nor has a table of forest extent been presented here. 
However, for the reader's interest. Map 15.1 shows 62,521 sq. km 
of swamp forest and 234,752 sq. km of lowland rain forest. 

On the basis of an FAO/UNEP (1981) survey, the forests of the 
Congo have been broadly divided into various categories, accord- 
ing to their status and potential for future exploitation (Table 
15.1). 'Unproductive forests' include savanna scrub, flooded for- 
est, stands of Raphia palms, and those in areas where exploitation 
is not possible because of access problems or dangerous relief. 
FAO/UNEP (1981) estimated that in 1980 there were 136,900 sq. 
km of exploitable forest in the Congo: 40 per cent of the country 
or 61 per cent of the total forested area. 

The main species of timber which are exploited include okoume 
Aucoumea klaineana, sapele Enlandropliragma cylindricum, sipo E. 
utile, niove Staudtia gabonensis, limba Tenmnalia superba, bilinga 



126 



Congo 



Table 15.1 Area of forest cover in the Congo (sq. km) 



Forest category 

Intact closed forest 
Exploited closed forest 
Total productive forest 
Unproductive closed forest 

- for physical reasons 

- for legal reasons 
Total unproductive forest 

Totals (all forest) 

(.Source: FAO/UNEP, 1981) 



South North/Central Total 

Region Region 

5,500 97,800 103,300 

32,400 1,200 33,600 

37,900 99,000 136,900 

5,500 69,700 75,200 

1,300 1,300 

5,500 71,000 76,500 

43,400 170,000 213,400 



Naiiclea diderrichii, moabi Baillonella toxispenna, iroko Milicia 
excelsa, tiama Entandrophragma angolense and longhi Gambeya spp. 

Forest exploitation in the country is divided among four sectors: 
the state, national and foreign private sectors, and a mixture of 
these. The most active operators of this group in recent years have 
been the private foreign investors who, in 1986, accounted for the 
production of 58 per cent of the unprocessed logs, 82 per cent of 
the sawn timber and 35 per cent of veneer exports. State-operated 
and private national enterprises contribute a very small proportion 
of total production. 

The Congolian output of unprocessed logs has increased gradu- 
ally since the world timber crisis in 1974, but has not yet recovered 
to the levels of exploitation achieved in the late 1960s and early 
1970s. In 1986 the Congo exported 286,973 cu. m of uncut logs, 



compared with 205,714 cu. m in 1982. However, due to the 
increase in the price obtained for the wood, forest products 
contributed 3.5 per cent of the gross domestic product in 1986, 
compared with just 1.1 per cent in 1982. The major buyers are 
Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Japan and the Soviet Union. 

The first area of forest to be exploited was the Mayombe, chiefly 
because it was more easily accessible by road and rail from Pointe 
Noire. The main species extracted there were limba and okoume. 
Later, exploitation moved to the dense forests of central and north- 
em Congo, where two different species - sapele and sipo - were 
heavily exploited. Since 1984, okoume and sapele have made up 
between 60 and 65 per cent of the unprocessed logs exported. In 
general, small and less valuable species are not exploited to any 
great extent. 

There are 25 registered sawmills which produced 53,658 cu. m 
and 46, 1 1 3 cu. m of timber during 1988 and 1 989, respectively. In 
recent years, 50-55 per cent of the wood has been locally processed. 
There are four veneer factories in the Congo; two were fully opera- 
tional during 1989, another was working at one-third of its normal 
capacity and the fourth had been closed for the past three years. 

The quality and output of timber from the Congo has increased 
during the past three years, largely as a result of the establishment 
of logging agencies, the availability of modem logging materials and 
a reduction in taxes on timber exports and on imported equipment. 
(See also the case study on Forest Management Units.) However, 
despite this growth, the future of the umber industry is uncertain, as 
timber from the Congo is generally more expensive than that, for 
example, from Southeast Asia. This is mainly because of the high 
cost of transporting timber from the north of the country to the coast. 

The forests of the Congo fulfil an important need for the peo- 
ple of the country, especially the subsistence agriculturalists who 
are generally unable to obtain enough food from their farmed land 



Forest Management Units 

The Republic of Congo has more than 200,000 sq. km of for- 
est and a population of only two million people. The forests are 
relatively rich in commercial timber species and, especially in 
the north, there is little pressure to clear forests for agriculture. 
The situation appears suitable for a sustainable and highly prof- 
itable timber industry. 

With help from FAO, the Congo authorities have divided up 
the national forest estate into forest management units (Unites 
Forestieres d'Amenagement, UFA), each of sufficient size to 
support an independent forest industry. In principle, each 
industry is required to conduct an inventory of its UFA and pro- 
pose a management plan for ministerial approval. The plans 
should provide for selection felling on a 25-year cycle with a 
minimum diameter limit of 60 cm. These calculations were 
based upon an annual girth increment of 0.8 cm per year 
observed in trial plots in similar forest types in Gabon. Twenty- 
five years is the period required for all trees in the 40-60 cm 
diameter class to pass into the exploitable 60-80 cm class. 
Extraction is subject to three-year exploitation permits which 
prescribe the maximum area to be logged and the minimum vol- 
ume of timber to be produced. Limited selective elimination of 
non-commercial species was planned in order to encourage the 
regeneration of valuable species but this has not been applied 
on an operational scale. 

The UFA system developed in the Congo could have pro- 
vided a sound basis for a sustainable forest industry but various 



factorc have meant that it has never been put into practice prop- 
erly. First, the government never invested sufficiently in field 
staff for the forestry service fully to supervise the UFAs. Second, 
and more important, all forest land is the property of the state 
and all citizens enjoy constitutional rights to use this land. The 
Forest Administration does not have the authority to curtail 
these rights even in an area under management for timber. 

Customary rights of subsistence hunting or collecting non- 
timber forest products do little harm to the forest's timber 
potential. However, customary rights also allow local people to 
burn the forest and grow their crops on the cleared land. The 
result has been that in the more densely populated and access- 
ible south of the country many of the UFAs have been invaded 
by shifting agriculturalists and potential timber yields have been 
seriously reduced. In the sparsely populated, inaccessible north, 
the forests remain largely undisturbed after logging and regen- 
erate well. Valuable timber crops are likely to be available after 
the 25-year logging rotations. 

Thus, in two pans of the same country, subject to the same 
laws and administration, the potential for sustainable manage- 
ment of the forests for timber is radically different. In the south, 
sustainability can probably be achieved only in intensively man- 
aged plantations taken out of state ownership. In the north, 
cyclical selective logging appears eminently sustainable and 
maintains a 'near-natural' forest which is excellent habitat for 
many wildlife species. Source: Jeff Sayer 



127 



Congo 




Maiigrmies (Rhizophora sp.) iii Coiikouan Faunal Rcscnv. C. Doumenge 

and who, therefore, depend on the forest for fruit and roots, as well 
as for building materials, medicinal plants and bushmeat. The lat- 
ter is the most important source of protein for a large part of the 
population. The forests are also important as the home of the pyg- 
mies. Small numbers occur throughout the forested parts of the 
country. They still frequent the forests of the Odzala National Park. 
Since the 1970s, there has been an active programme of plan- 
tation establishment in the Congo, particularly in the savannas. 
Near Pointe Noire, for example, the Unite d'Afforestation 
Industrielle du Congo (UAIC) has created plantations of 
Eucalyptus sp. (320 sq. km) and Piiius sp. (10 sq. km). In addition, 
the Service National de Reboisement (National Reforestation 
Service) has established more than 100 sq. km of pine and 
Eucalyptus on the savannas and around 80 sq. km of limba planta- 
tions in forests. Within the next decade, the UAIC aims to have 
planted in the region of 1000 sq. km of Eucalyptus, mostly in the 
coastal region. UICN (1990) estimates that between 5000 and 
10,000 sq. km of savanna are suitable for the establishment of fast 
growing plantations. If these are developed they would be an 
imponant economic resource for the country. 

Deforestation 

FAO estimated that 220 sq. km of forest were lost each year in the 
Congo in 1981-5 (FAO, 1988). No alternative estimates are avail- 
able. In countries such as the Congo with extensive forests and few 
people the question of deforestation rates is secondary to that of 
qualitative changes in the forest cover. Even though deforestation 
is low, the degradation of forest by accelerating cycles of shifting 
cultivation and over-hunting of wildlife is a major problem in south 
Congo. Some forest areas of great biological interest such as the 
coastal forests in and around the Conkouati Faunal Reserve and 
on the Chaillu and Mayombe massifs are at special risk. 

Sibona (1985) has proposed that within the southern part of the 
country, each cultivator clears approximately 0.5 ha each year for 



agriculture. On a countrv'wide basis, it has been estimated that 
almost 20,000 sq. km are cleared, mostly in the densely populated 
south. However, much of the clearance is in secondary- scrub and 
forest regenerating from previous cycles of shifting cultivation. 
L^and exposed to these cycles of shifting agriculture will lose many 
of the animal and plant species adapted to primary forest and may 
be exposed to erosion. But when the fallow period is long enough, 
forest does regenerate and figures for the annual extent of shifting 
cultivation cannot be equated with deforestation. Unfortunately in 
the south of the Congo the cycles are often too short to allow ade- 
quate regeneration and the fallow phase is dominated by annual 
weeds and scrub. When shifting agriculture succeeds logging the 
impact on the residual stand of timber trees is disastrous. Large 
tracts of the savanna grasslands are burned each year. This 
prevents recolonisation of this habitat by woody species and fire 
encroaches on the peripheral zones of the forests. The result is that 
small islands of grassland or savanna within the forest zone will 
gradually increase in size as fires penetrate a few metres further into 
the forest each year. Such fires are usually set by hunters and have 
a major impact on the forests even in areas where the population 
density is low. The problem is especially severe in areas with sandy 
soils, for instance on the Bateke Plateau. 

Timber concession areas increased in 1986 with the granting of 
a further 71,073 sq. km of forest (39,079 sq. km in the north, 
31,994 sq. km in the south). This was again increased in July 1988 
with the granting of an additional 39,079 sq. km in the north and 
37,835 sq. km in the south, representing altogether 34.3 per cent of 
the total forest cover in the Congo (UICN, 1 990) . Most logged areas 
in the north regenerate satisfactorily, but encroachment of logged- 
over forests by farmers is a major problem in the south (see case 
study). Nonetheless the Congo is an example of a country where 
logging has been environmentally benign and in many areas, even in 
the absence of post-logging management, logging is sustainable and 
compatible with the conser\'ation of biological diversity. 

Biodiversity 

The flora of the Congo has been little studied but a few recent surveys 
have contributed a great deal of information on the range of species 
that occur in the countn,'. To date, over 4000 plant species have been 
recorded (Bouquet, 1976), and UICN (1990) estimates that there 
are probably as many as 6000 species of plants within the country. 
Much of this diversity is accounted for by the varied topography, 
tropical climate and the frequent mixing of forest and savanna 
ecosystems in the southern and central pans of the Congo. As yet, 
there is insufficient evidence to assess the level of species endemism. 
There has been no systematic survey of the fauna of all the Congo, 
although Dowsett and Dowsett-Lemaire had, in February' 1 99 1 , just 
completed intensive surveys of the flora and fauna (birds, mammals, 
fish, snakes, frogs, lizards and butterflies) in the western Mayombe, 
the coastal forests and savannas in the country (F. Dowsett-Lemaire, 
in litt.). Dowsett and Dowsett-Lemaire (1989b) give a preliminan.' 
list of the larger mammals in the country and they now estimate that 
there is a total of 1 32 mammal species in the Congo (F. Dowsett- 
Lemaire, in litt.). Some of these, such as the African wild do%Lycacin 
pictus, bongo Tragelaphus cuiycews, gorilla Gcrilla gonlla, lion 
Panthera leo, elephant Loxodonta ajricana, giant pangolin Manis 
gigantea and manatee Trichechus senegalemis are fially protected 
legally but they are rarely able to be protected in reality. The forests 
of the Congo are home to at least 1 4 species of antelope, and are 
particularly rich in primates - 22 species in all. These include one 
endemic subspecies, Bouvier's red colobus monkey Pivcolobus 
[badius] pennaiiti bouvicn, which has been found only in the Lefini 
Faunal Reserve (Dates, 1986; Lee ct al., 1988). 



128 



Congo 



The avifauna within the forests is also diverse. After a study of 
the hterature and museum specimens and completing a short sur- 
vey in the Mayombe forest, Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett ( 1 989) 
recorded 223 species in the forest, 16 of which were only in the 
Zaire section of the Mayombe. While the total number of species 
inhabiting all the forests is still unknown, it is estimated that there 
are at least 700 bird species in the Congo (F. Dowsett-Lemaire, in 
Int.). About 500 of these have been listed by Dowsett and Dowsett- 
Lemaire (1989a). Only one threatened species is recorded from 
the Congo and that, the black-chinned weaver Ploceus ingnmeiilwii, 
is probably not a forest species. 

An investigation of the reptile diversity in the Mayombe forests 
alone, revealed 45 species (Unesco/PNUD, 1986). Three species 
of endangered marine turtles - the loggerhead Carelta caretta, green 
Cheloma mydas, and the olive ridley Lepidochelys olivacea - have 
been recorded on Congo's coastline (Groombridge, 1982). Three 
species of crocodile still survive in the country, but are heavily 
hunted (F. Dowsett-Lemaire, in litt.). 

Few data exist on the diversity offish or invertebrates, although 
two rare species of swallowtail butterfly - the African giant swal- 
lowtail Papilio anttmachus and Graphium aunvilliusi, the latter 
known only from a few specimens - have been recorded from the 
Congo (Collins and Morris, 1985). In addition, the dragonfly 
Aethiothemys watuliki has been recorded only in Mambili forest 
(Stuart era/., 1990). 

Conservation Areas 

The establishment of protected areas in the Congo dates back to 
1935, with the creation of the Odzala National Park. At present 
this is still the only national park in the country and no exploita- 
tion is allowed within it. There are also two other kinds of pro- 
tected areas: faunal reserves, where hunting is totally prohibited 
but other traditional rights of usage are permitted, and hunting 
reserves, where hunting is allowed with a big game hunting per- 
mit, which limits the number of animals that can be taken. There 
are two Biosphere reserves in the country, namely Odzala National 
Park and the Dimonika reserve. Details of the protected areas are 
given in Table 15.2. 

The administration of wildlife and conservation in the Congo is 
the responsibility of the Ministry of Forest Economy, within which 
the protected areas are the responsibility of the Hunting and 
Wildlife Service. In recent years, management of protected areas 
has been placed under the direction of the Wildlife Inventory and 
Management Project (DPIAF). DPIAF is seriously understaffed, 
having only 43 guards to cover the entire network of protected 
areas, which means that each person is responsible for more than 
300 sq. km. lUCN considers 10 sq. km to be the most that can be 
properly patrolled by an individual guard. In addition, field per- 
sonnel are poorly equipped and inadequately trained. As an indi- 
cation of the poor protection of some of these reserves, it has been 
reported that concessions have been granted for logging and 
mining operations in Conkouati Faunal Reserve, and that there are 
many people living in the reserve who are commercial hunters (F. 
Dowsett-Lemaire, in litt.). 

At present, there is no programme to protect threatened or 
endangered flora in the Congo. Insufficient data exist either on a 
regional or specific taxonomic basis accurately to assess the status 
of a given species. However, it is certain that many species are in 
need of protective measures, especially near towns where increas- 
ing population pressures result in rising rates of forest clearance for 
agriculture, fuelwood and building materials. Useful tree species 
may be depleted. For example, the wood of wenge Miileiiia lau- 
renlii, widely used for decoration and wood carving, is now becom- 



Table 15.2 Conservation areas of the Congo 
For data on Biosphere reserves see chapter 9. 

Area (sq. km) 
1,266 



National Parks 
Odzala* 



Faunal Reserves 

Conkouati* 3,000 

Lefini* 6,300 

Lekoli-Pandaka* 682 

Loudimaf 60 

Mont Fouari 156 

Nyanga Nord 77 

Tsoulou 300 

Hunting Reserves 

M'boko* 900 

Mont Mavoumbou 420 

Nyanga Sud 230 

Total 13,391 

(.Sources: lUCN, 1990; WCMC, m Im.) 

* Area with moist forest within its boundaries according to JVlap 15.1. 
t Not mapped. 



mg extremely difficult to locate near Brazzaville, although it is still 
found elsewhere in the Congo. 

As in other West African countries, illegal hunting and poach- 
ing for bushmeat is widespread, even in 'protected' areas. Hunting 
provides a lucrative source of income and is also the main protein 
source for a large section of the population. 

Initiatives for Conservation 

The Congo has developed conservation policies with suppon from 
international organisations such as FAO, EEC, lUCN, WWF and 
Unesco/UNDP. National organisations, as well as the French 
Tropical Forestry Centre (CTPT) are conducting reforestation 
programmes, largely in the southern section of the country. These 
are, however, mostly of Eucalyptus. Additional scientific study is 
being conducted by the French overseas research agency 
ORSTOM. 

In 1988, a joint Unesco/UNDP project led to the establishment 
of the Dimonika Biosphere Reserve, the country's first reserve of 
this kind. A management plan is currently being prepared and, to 
promote the ideals of this project among local people, the 
Mayombe Development Committee has been created. 

The EEC is currently coordinating an integrated scheme for 
conservation and rural development among seven Central African 
countries, of which the Congo is one. Within this scheme, a 
demonstration project will be established within the Odzala 
National Park and surrounding areas to illustrate how conserva- 
tion and the sustainable exploitation of forest products can bene- 
fit local people. 

USAID and the EEC are supporting the establishment of a 
large, new protected area in the Nouabale area on the northern 
border of the Congo, adjoining the Central African Republic. This 
project is being coordinated by Wildlife Conservation 
International, the conservation arm of New York Zoological 
Society. lUCN is developing a project at Conkouati to improve 
management of the reserve by working with local communities. 



129 



Congo 




Congo 




Congo 

References 

Begue, L. ( 1 967) Les forets du nord de la Republique du Congo 

(Brazzaville). Bois el Foreis des Tropiques 111: 63-76. 
Bouquet, A. (1976) Etat d'avancement des travaux sur la Flore 

de Congo-Brazzaville. In: Coniptes Rendus de la Vllle Reunion de 

I'AETFAT, 2 vols. Proceedings of the 8ih plenary meeting of 

AETFAT in Geneva, 16-21 September, 1974. Miege, J. and 

Stork, A. L. (1975, 1976) (eds). Appendix 1, p. 581. 
Collins, N. M. and Morris, M. G. (1985) Threatened Swallowtail 

Butterflies of the World. The lUCN Red Data Book. lUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 401 pp. 
Cusset, G. (1989) La flora at la vegetation du Mayombe 

Congolais. Etat des connaissance. In: Revue des Connaissances 

sur le Mayombe, pp. 103-36. Unesco/PNUD, Republique 

Populaire du Congo. 
Descoings, B. (1969) Esquisse phytogeographique du Congo. 

In: Atlas du Congo. ORSTOM, Paris, France (1 carte couleurs 

1:2 million, 2 pages de texte). 
Descoings, B. (1975) Les grandes regions naturelles du Congo. 

Candollea iO: 91-120. 
Dowsett, R. J. and Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989a) Liste prelimi- 

naire des oiseaux du Congo. Turaco Research Report!: 29-51. 
Dowsett, R. J. and Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989b) Liste prelimi- 

naire des grands mammiferes du Congo. Turaco Research Report 

2: 20-8. 
Dowsett-Lemaire, F. and Dowsett, R. J. (1989) Liste commen- 

tee des oiseaux de la foret du Mayombe (Congo). Turaco 

Research Report 2: 5-16. 
FAG (1988) An Interim Report on the State of Forest Resources in 

the Developing Countries. FAG, Rome, Italy. 18pp. 
FAG (1991) FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 1978-1989. FAG 

Forestry Series No. 24 and FAO Statistics Series No. 97. FAO, 

Rome, Italy. 
FAGAJNEP (1981) Tropical Forest Resources Assessment Project. 

Forest Resources of Tropical Africa. Part II Country Briefs. FAG, 

Rome, Italy. 
Groombridge, B. (1982) The lUCN Amphibia-Reptilta Red Data 

Book. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 
lUCN (1990) 1989 United Nations List of National Parks and 

Protected Areas. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, 

UK. 275 pp. 
Koechlin, J. (1961) La Vegetation des Savanes dans le Sud de la 

Republique du Congo (Capilale Brazzaville) . ORSTOM, Paris, 

France. 310 pp. 



Lee, P. C, Thomback, J. and Bennett, E. L. (1988) Threatened 
Primates of Africa. The lUCN Red Data Book. lUCN, Gland, 
Switzerland and Cambndge, UK. 

Gates, J. F. (1986) Action Plan for African Pnmate Conservation: 
1986-1990. lUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, Stony 
Brook, New York, USA. 

Sibona, F. (1985) Rapport Final en Sociologie Rurale (Projet 
'Developpement Forestier Sud-Congo') . FAG, Rome, Italy. 156 
pp. 

Stuart, S. N., Adam, R. J. and Jenkins, M. D. ( 1 990) Biodiversity 
in Sub-Saharan Africa and its Islands: Consentation, Management 
and Sustainable Use. Occasional Papers of the lUCN Species 
Survival Commission No. 6. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 

UICN ( 1 990) La Conservation des Ecosystemes forestiers du Congo. 
Base sur le travail de P. Hecketsweiler. UICN, Gland, 
Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 187 pp. 

UICN (1991) Le Pan National d 'Odzala, Congo. Base sur le travail 
de Hecketsweiler, P., Doumenge, C. and Makolo Ikonga, J., 
UICN, Gland Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. xvi + 334 pp. 

Unesco/PNUD (1986) Le Mayombe. Description de la Region et 
Presentation du Projet sur les Bases Scientifiques de son 
Developpement Integre. Plaquette Unesco/PNUD. Republique 
Populaire du Congo. Unesco/PNUD, Paris, France. 41 pp. 

Authorship 

Dominique N'Sosso in Brazzaville and Philippe Hecketsweiler in 
Montpellier with contributions from Raphael Tsila in Brazzaville, 
Frangoise Dowsett-Lemaire in Brussels, David Stone in Begnins, 
Switzerland and Jeff Sayer, lUCN. 



Map 15.1 Forest cover in the Congo 

Vegetation data were digitised from an ONC 1 : 1 million map on which the 
extent of the forests had been hand drawn by Philippe Hecketsweiler, one of 
the authors of this chapter. He was able to produce a map from data gathered 
from field work during 1989 and 1990 and from numerous reports (Koechlin, 
1961; Begue, 1967; Descoings, 1969, 1975; Cusset, 1989). It shows four 
vegetation categones: Forets Denses de Terre Ferme (lowland rain forest), 
Forets Inondees Marecageuses (inland swamp forest), Formations Herbeuses 
Seches (a dry grassland/bush formation) and Formations Herbeuses 
Marecageuses (a swamp grassland/bush formation). Of these, lowland rain 
forest and inland swamp forest are shown on Map 15.1. 

Conservation areas are taken from a 1 : 1 million map Republique Populaire du 
Congo (1990) produced by Centre de Recherche Geographiques du Congo 
(CERGEC), Brazzaville and from spatial data held within files at WCMC. 



132 



16 Cote 
d' I voire 



landareo 318,000 sq, km 










Population (mid- 1 990) 12 6 million 




Population growth rote in 1 990 3 7 per cent 


Ai.^ \ 




Population projected to 2020 35 4 million 






Gross notional product per capita (1988) USS/40 


V" 




Rain forest (see mop) 27,464 sq km 


/-v -'' ,.,— ' 




Closed broadleaved forest (end 1 980)' 44,580 sq km 


^vV^"^-^ 




Annual deforestation rate (I981-5)' 2900 sq km 


v^;W J 




Industrial roundwood productiont 3,4 1 3,000 cu m 


Nl_s3V-r 




Industrial roundwood exports! 550,000 cu m 
Fuclwood and charcoal productiont 9,830,000 (u m 


■ 'in; 




v-J 


Processed wood productiont 1,041,000 cu m 


\ 




Processed wood exportsf 558,000 cu m 


I 




• F»0 (19880) 


1 




t 1989dolol[omFA0|l99l| 


\ 









Since independence in 1960, Cote d'lvoire has shown rapid economic development based mainly on timber, cocoa and 
coffee exports. For the past 30 years the country has had a remarkable degree of political stability and now has one of the 
best infrastructures and one of the highest GNP per capita in West Africa. In contrast to this excellent record, deforesta- 
tion in Cote d'lvoire has been between 2800 and 3500 sq. km per year for the past 35 years. Indeed, it is predicted that, 
without stringent protective measures, all the rain forests will have disappeared by the turn of the century. 

The country has experienced diminishing total rainfall and irregular rainfall patterns, problems which many people con- 
sider to be caused by the severe deforestation. Widespread public concern awoke in 1984 when, after successive dry years, 
the hydroelectric supply was interrupted and bush fires ravaged the country. It became clear that emergency measures were 
needed to reduce the rampant deforestation and to avoid the prospect of Cote d'lvoire becoming a timber importing coun- 
try. As a result, the 1 988-20 1 5 National Forestry Plan was developed, which outlined a long-term strategy of forest resource 
protection and management and an immediate action plan for rehabilitation of the forestry sector by 1995. President Felix 
Houphouet Boigny also proclaimed 1988 the National Year of the Forest with the aim of improving public participation 
in nature conservation, tree planting and fire prevention. 

In April 1990, a World Bank loan of US$90 million was agreed for Cote d'lvoire to implement a project for protection 
and rational management of the country's remaining tropical forests. For the first time, environmental sustainability seemed 
to be addressed but northern non- governmental organisations (NGOs) now accuse this project of contributing to further 
deforestation. 



Introduction 

Situated between latitudes 4°20' and 1 0°45'N and longitudes 2°40' 
and 8°30'W in the central part of the Upper Guinea forest block, 
Cote d'lvoire originally must have been predominantly tree covered. 
Its rolling uniform landscape, intersected by four main rivers running 
north-south, slowly rises from the Gulf of Guinea to about 400 m 
above sea level at the northern savanna plateau. The only moun- 
tainous region is at the border with Guinea in the Nimba region, 
where there are peaks of up to 1750 m. Smaller chains of rock out- 
crops, called inselbergs, occur in the south-western and south- 
eastern regions, relieving the otherwise monotonous, undulating 
landscape. 

The country has a total area of 322,460 sq. km and it can be 
divided into two main bioclimatic zones: the tropical moist forest 
belt in the south, with average rainfall ranging from 1400 to 2500 
mm per year and a biannual dry season which does not exceed three 
to five months in total, and the inland savanna zone which was 
originally covered with more open, dry forest formations. 
Temperatures in the forest belt are remarkably constant through- 
out the year, averaging around the middle to high twenties (°C). 

Total population in Cote d'lvoire has increased from five mil- 
lion in 1970 to almost 13 million in 1990; the annual growth rate, 
at 3.7 per cent in 1 99 1 , is one of the highest in Africa. Mass immi- 
gration from drought-stricken Sahelian countries, particularly in 
the 1970s and early 1980s, is responsible for some of this popula- 



tion increase. About one-third of the people live in the nonhern 
savanna regions, while the remaining two-thirds are in the more 
densely populated forest zone in the south. There are also more 
people in the eastern and central pans of the southern region than 
in the western section. The differences m population density are 
the result of important historical and contemporary movements of 
the inhabitants (Lena, 1984). 

Approximately 55 per cent of the people still live in rural areas, 
but the general trend of migration to urban areas, recently stimu- 
lated by the drop in cocoa and coffee prices and hence farmers" 
incomes, is likely to continue. Two million people are concentrated 
in the large urban district of Abidjan and there are some 750,000 
people in and around the second largest city, Bouake. Further 
important concentrations occur near Korhogo in the north, at 
Yamoussoukro, which is the newly established capital in the 
centre of the country, and at Man, Danane and Daloa. 

Government policies in the past 25 years have tended to encour- 
age people to move from more densely populated rural regions to 
relatively unpopulated areas. Farmers are offered incentives to 
establish new coffee and cacao plantations in the areas to be devel- 
oped. Some uncontrolled land settlement has been caused by the 
large numbers of migrants from the Sahel, which has resulted in 
widespread deforestation and anarchic land occupation in pro- 
jected industrial plantation areas and forest reser\-es. 



133 



Cote D'Ivoire 

The Forests 

From south to north of Cote d'lvoire, a range of successively drier 
vegetation types can be distinguished. However, gradual changes 
and strong topographical influences prohibit rigorous definition 
and exact canographic representation of each type. Grading from 
evergreen moist forest in the south-west and south-east, to semi- 
deciduous forest that fragments into a forest savanna mosaic m the 
centre of the country (e.g. in Marahoue National Park), the 
sequence ends up in open Sudan-t>pe savanna land with pockets 
of dry forest near the border with Mali and Burkina Faso. 

The moist forest belt or, more accurately, the fragmented rem- 
nants of the moist semi-deciduous and evergreen forest types, 
shows scattered but omnipresent evidence of early human habita- 
tion with pottery fragments and charcoal layers in the soil. As a 
result, the occurrence of truly virgin forest sites can almost be 
excluded. Chevalier (1908) suggested their presence in the early 
years of this century, but if they do still exist they must be limited 
to some remote areas in the interfluve of the Cavally and Sassandra 
rivers, for instance in the Tai National Park. However, the degree 
and extent of vegetation change caused by early human interfer- 
ence remain unknown and now almost impossible to detect due to 
the subsequent large-scale forest destruction. 

Forest composition is associated with soil and climatic condi- 
tions. The moderate rainfall regime to which the major part of the 
moist forest belt is subject (less than 2000 mm rain and a main dry- 
season of at least two to three months) results in forest which is 
characterised by a high frequency of large trees, towering 55-60 m 
high, a dense intermediate canopy and a relatively open under- 
growth which shows a typically crooked and tortuous habit, 
induced by drought stress. 

These general features contrast with overall differences in tree 
species composition between evergreen and semi-deciduous forest 
types. Characteristic tree species of the latter do not occur, or are 
only sparsely represented, in the former and vice versa. Typical 
semi-deciduous tree species (cf. Aubreville, 1957) include mem- 
bers of the well represented Malvaceae, Sterculiaceae, Ulmaceae 
and Moraceae families, for example, Cchis spp., Maiisoiiia allissiiiia, 
Ptciygota iiiacivcarpa, Nesogordoiiia papin'cnfcniy Stcrciiliii 
rhuwpetala and Milicta exceka. Less characteristic are Tnplochhon 
scteroxyhti and Terminalia spp. (Combretaceae); these are common 
in secondary formations of the evergreen forest. 

Moist evergreen forest shows a dominance of Mimosaceae and 
Caesalpiniaceae, including species such as Pipladeiiiastnon 
afncanum, Parkia bico/or, Eiythwphlcwii worense and Anthonotha spp. 
Parinari excclsa (Chrysobalanaceae) and Klaincdoxo gaboneiisis 
(Irvingiaceae) are also dominant tree species. The famous African 
mahoganies or redwoods (Entandrophragma spp. and Khaya spp.), 
which attain huge dimensions, can be encountered in both evergreen 
and semi-deciduous forests. Their relatively high frequency in both 
formations make these forests extremely attractive for logging. 

The boundary between evergreen forest formations and semi- 
deciduous forest can be traced only approximately. Deciduousness 
is difficult to assess and local site differences (type of rock, soil and 
drainage) often play a dominant role in the extent of one forest type 
or another. For instance, moist formations penetrate along water 
courses into drier zones and typical elements of drier formations 
occur on sites with poor water retention capacity inside the ever- 
green zone. Thus, large transition areas exist where both forest 
types occur, each in its specific topographical position in the undu- 
lating landscape. For mapping purposes, however, an approximate 
division can be fixed that fairly closely fits the 1700 mm isohyet. 

The marked seasonality of climate, with four alternating dry and 
wet seasons in the moist forest belt and two distinct seasons in the 



northern savannas, excludes the widespread occurrence of a per- 
humid forest type. This vegetation type, with strong dominance of 
the Caesalpiniaceae family in the tree flora (such as Cynometra 
ananla and Gitberlwdoidron spp.), is limited to the extreme south- 
west and south-east corners of Cote d'lvoire where there is more 
than 2100 mm rainfall per annum. It once covered extensive areas 
in neighbouring Liberia (Voorhoeve, 1979). 

There is a wedge shaped intrusion of savanna woodland 
(characterised by Borassus palms) into the moist forest belt in the 
central part of the country. This so-called 'Baoule-V is most often 
explained by a rain shadow effect arising from a change in orien- 
tation of the West African coasdine (Aubreville, 1949). While 
Liberia is exposed to a frontal arrival of the prevailing south-west- 
erly monsoon winds and hence receives average yearly rainfall of 
up to 4500 mm, a sudden change in coastline direction to a near 
parallel orientation occurs after Cape Palmas. This provokes a 
rather sharp drop in rainfall from 2500 to 1400 mm in the south- 
western region of Cote d'lvoire. Recurving of the coastline towards 
Cape Three Points in Ghana restores higher rainfall (up to 2300 
mm) in the south-eastern part of the country. 

This central woodland wedge divides the moist forest belt into 
eastern and western parts. The southern extension of the savannas 
approaches to within about 1 50 km of the coast and it probably 
facilitated deep penetration into the country- by expanding savanna 
tribes (Malinke and Ashanti) invading from the north and east in 
the 1 4th century. Unequal population densities in the east and west 
partly explain today's situation of nearly total deforestation in the 
east while there is still some forested land remaining in the west. 

Forest composition also differs between east and west Cote 
d'lvoire in the occurrence of endemic plant species which spread 
out from their respective Pleistocene refuge areas around Cape 
Three Points and Cape Palmas. Mangenot (1955) and Guillaumet 
(1967) described the south-western endemics with the term 
'Sassandriennes' after their geographic boundary, the Sassandra 
river. According to a recent revision by Hall and Swaine (1981), 
72 plant species originated in this important centre of diversity. 

Another Pleistocene refuge area probably existed in the Nimba 
mountains. These are nowadays covered by predominantly 
Pannari exceka forests and submontane woodland (Schnell, 1952). 

Mangroves 

Mangrove formations, dominated by Rluzophora and Avicemiia 
spp., originally occupied most of the lagoon shores, river deltas and 
estuaries. This tidal vegetation can still be encountered along the 
Ebrie lagoon, which stretches from Abidjan to Grand-Lahou, and 
in other smaller lagoon areas. The mangroves are being cut for 
firewood and are declining rapidly as a result. Indeed, Map 16.1 
indicates that only 29 sq. km of mangrove remain in Cote d'lvoire, 
though it is possible that there are other areas in the country which 
are too small to appear on a map of this scale. 

Forest Resources and Management 

An accurate and up-to-date estimate of total remaining forest cover 
in Cote d'lvoire is difficult to establish because of the rampant 
deforestation (Bertrand, 1983) and the low reliability of the avail- 
able data. Explanation of what is covered by the term 'forest 
resources' is often lacking or, at best, is ambiguous. Further con- 
fusion arises by indiscriminate use of figures for total gazetted for- 
est land (which often includes deforested and non-wooded areas) 
as an indication of remaining forest cover. As a result, most recent 
available estimates from reports of the Ministry of Forests (1988) 
and the FAO (1988b) and data used in reports of the World Bank 
(1990) show large discrepancies. 



134 



Cote D'Ivoire 



Table 16.1 Estimates of forest and woodland cover in Cote 
d'lvoire (forest fragments of less than 1 sq. km excepted) 





Moist forest 


Savanna 


Total 




zone 


zone 


area 


Total land area 


132,220 


190,145 


322,365 


Total estimated forest 


cover 






(1966)' 


86,150 


88,660 


174,810 


(1980)- 


44,580 


53,760 


98,340 


(1987)' 


21,950 


24,720 


46,670 


(1990)' 


13,000 


18,000 


31,000 


Permanent Forest Domain (before : 


1978: 'Forets 


Classees') 


(1956)' 


43,000 


25,000 


68,000 


(1966)' 


27,840 


25,340 


53,180 


(1974)' 


28,986 


13,000 


41,986 


(1978)' 


24,043 


12,222 


36,265 


(1987)' 


16,000 


13,000 


29,000 


National Parks and Fa 


una Reserves 






(1974)' 


5,480 


11,750 


17,230 


(1982)' 


5,717 


13,670 


19,387 



(Areas in sq- km) 

* NB; this figure for countrs' area, supplied by the author, is slightly different from that 

given by FAO. 

Guillautnet,]. L. and Adjanahoun, E. (1966). Vegetation de la Cote d'lvoire. Mapping 

(1:500,000) after aenal photographs of 1965. 
- FAOAJNEP(1981). 

Ministere des Eaux et Forets (1988). Plan Directeur Forestier 1988-2015. Annexe 2 

(aerial survey 1986) and table 1. 

Estimate by extrapolation of mean deforestation rates of 3000 sq. km per year in moist 

forest and 2000 sq. km m savanna. 
' Arnoud and Sournia ( 1 980), pp. 69 and 70. NB: 'Forets Classees' of 1 956 and 1 966 

include national parks and fauna reserves. 

Permanent Forestry Domain, gazetted 15 March 1978. 

Yamoussoukro (1982). Working document. Conference on 'La fori:t au service du 

developpement'. 



Estimates based on extrapolation of the forest and woodland cover 
regression rates of the past 30 years (Table 16.1) indicate a remain- 
ing total area of 31,000 sq. km (10 per cent of national territory). 
However, of this only 13,000 sq. km is closed broadleaved forest in 
the forest zone; the remaining 18,000 sq. km is dry woodland in the 
savanna zone. It should further be emphasised that most of this is 
fragmented and timber-depleted forest. Map 16.1 indicates that, in 
1987, total remaining moist forest cover (excluding mangroves) was 
27,435 sq. km (see Table 1 6.2), a somewhat higher figure than that 
calculated from forest regression rates in Table 16.1. 

Faced by the spread of slash and bum agriculture and anarchic 
forest exploitation, the colonial forest service created so-called 
'Forets Classees' (forest reserves) as early as 1926. These were to 
ensure future timber production. The total gazetted area of 240 
forest reserves was as much as 68,000 sq. km in 1956 (Table 16.1), 
but the reserves lacked distinctively marked boundaries and efficient 
protection. Consequently, by 1987, agricultural encroachment had 
caused the area to shrink to only 29,000 sq. km in 147 reserves. 
Within this area, productive timber stands were thought to occupy 
no more than 15,000 sq. km (FAO, 1988b). Satellite data are to be 
compiled for an assessment of the remaining productive area in the 
1978 gazetted Permanent Forestry Domain. Preliminary surveys 
already indicate an alarming 25 per cent further loss of productive 
timber area due to anarchic land occupation. 



The first acajou Khaya ivorensis logs were exported from Cote 
d'lvoire to France in 1885, to replace rapidly declining Sivietenia 
mahogany stocks from the French colonies in the West Indies (Alba, 
1956). Contrary to common belief, it was English companies that 
started trading the precious cabinet timber from the hinterlands of 
Assinie and Bassam and they continued to control the acajou 
market until the First World War (Arnoud and Sournia, 1980). 
Exports of this wood to France, England and Germany steadily 
increased from 22,850 cu. m in 1909 to some 60,000 cu. m in 1913 
(Meniaud, 1922). Acajou remained the only exponed timber 
species until 1 920 and the most important one until 1951. In 1920, 
50,000 cu. m of acajou was sent overseas, but also 14,000 cu. m of 
tiama Entandrophragma angolense, iroko Milicia excelsa, makore 
Tieghemella heckelii, bosse Guarea cedrata, badi Naudea diderrichii 
and niangon Heririera iitilis were shipped. Like other precious 
cabinet timbers such as sipo EmaiidropJiragnia utile and makore, 
acajou has been logged to such an extent that the species is close to 
commercial extinction. A forced shift to medium density sawnwood 
species like framire Terminalia ivorensis, frake/limba Terminalia 
superba and samba Triplochilon scleroxylon, has taken place and these 
have formed the bulk of timber exports since 1970. The total 
number of traded species rose from 28 in 1973 to 36 in 1988. 

Timber exports increased rapidly after independence in 1960 
(Table 16.3), funding the economic development of the country. 
Subsequently, total log production for industrial use went up almost 
fivefold and peaked in 1 977 at 5.3 million cu. m. The onset of resource 
exhaustion became evident after 1980 (see Figure 7.1 on p. 59). 

Fuelwood and charcoal consumption is difficult to assess, but 
was estimated by Catinot (1984) to amount to some 6 million cu. 
m in 1985 while the World Bank (1990) estimated 10 million cu. 
m for that year and predicted it would reach 14 million cu. m in 
1995. Firewood need will further increase with population growth 
and is already considered to be a major cause of deforestation in 
the savanna regions and in the vicinity of urban centres. If the offi- 
cial estimates are correct, wood for domestic use (including minor 
quantities of utensil wood) has outstripped industrial wood con- 
sumption since 1980. 

Forest legislation, enacted m June 1912, allotted logging rights 
to private companies after payment of exploration and exploitation 
taxes. Timber concessions, parcelled out in blocks of 25 sq. km 
along the major rivers and the railway, extended in 1921 to over 
6500 sq. km of acajou-rich forests in the south-eastern hinterland. 
Besides the annual permit fees, the Supplementary Forest Act of 
1920 imposed species-indexed stumpage fees and reforestation 
taxes. Reforestation, however, rarely occurred because of the reluc- 
tance of timber companies to replant and because there was a lack 
of knowledge of appropriate methods and species requirements 
(Alba, 1956). At that time, agricultural encroachment was not a 
problem and the need for reforestation was less apparent. 



Table 16.2 Estimates of forest extent in Cote d'lvoire 

Area (sq. km) % of land area 



Rain forests 
Lowland 
Montane 
Swamp 
Mangrove 



Totals 27,464 8.64 

(Based on analysis of Map 16. 1. See Map legend on p. 142 for details of sources.) 



26,890 


8.5 


138 


0.04 


407 


0.1 


29 


<0.01 



135 



Cote D'Ivoire 



Table 16.3 Changes in volume of timber logged annually for 
industrial use (volumes in cu. m) 



Year 


Total log 


Log exports 


Processed ' 


Processing 




production 




logs 


percentage 


1900 


8,750 


8,750 


_ 


- 


1910 


17,200 


17,200 


- 


- 


1920 


93,000 


78,000 


15,000 


16 


1930 


138,800 


113,800 


25,000 


18 


1945= 


80,800 


11,300 


69,500 


86 


1950 


227,700 


133,700 


93,600 


41 


1955 


372,600 


208,300 


164,300 


44 


I960' 


1,034,000 


823,000 


211,000 


20 


1965 


2,560,000 


1,905,000 


655,000 


26 


1970 


3,548,000 


2,511,000 


1,037,000 


29 


1973^ 


5,169,000 


3,497,000 


1,672,000 


32 


1975 


3,960,000 


2,419,000 


1,541,000 


39 


1977' 


5,321,000 


3,335,000 


1,986,000 


37 


1980 


4,969,000 


3,064,000 


1,905,000 


38 


1985 


3,227,000 


1,394,000 


1,813,000 


56 


1986 


3,020,000 


1,020,000 


2,000,000 


66 


1987 


3,252,000 


1,231,000 


2,021,000 


62 


iSotirce: 


F. Vooren) 









Logs delivered at processing plants. End products represent only 50 per cent of this 

volume. For example, in 1987, 2,021,000 cu. m of logs were processed to 998,000 

cu. m of finished wood products (60 per cent for the export market and 40 per cent 

for domestic use; World Bank, 1990). 

War recession. 

Year of independence. 

Record year of log exports. 

Record year of total log production. 



The revised Forestry Acts of 1935 and 1965 retained the prin- 
ciples of area taxation and volume fees, but stimulated domestic 
wood processing through a system of variable permit-renewal 
periods that favoured forest exploitation enterprises with process- 
ing facilities. Log exportation quotas linked to volumes of pro- 
cessed wood products were mtroducd in 1972 further to increase 
domestic processing (Table 16.3). The export quota system, how- 
ever, stimulated the maintenance of inefficient processing plants, 
kept up in order to obtain the required 40 per cent local process- 
ing and so continue the more profitable log exports. Currently, fis- 
cal reforms are proposed in an effort to eliminate inefficient and 
wasteful logging and processing operations (FAO, 1988b; World 
Bank, 1990). 

Past forest management efforts include silvicultural trials with 
different tree species (e.g. Martineau, 1932) and forest enrichment 
with line plantation techniques developed by Aubreville in the 
1 930s (Catinot, 1 965). Trials with natural regeneration techniques 
were conducted in the 1950s but did not prove satisfactory. It was 
not until 1966 that industrial forest plantations were established. 
At the same time, a state reforestation service (SODEFOR) was 
created to pursue large scale reforestation programmes. Up to 
1976, 224 sq. km of forested and cleared land had been planted 
with various tree species (mostly teak Tectona grandis), with vari- 
able success. Around 170 sq. km of plantation is estimated to 
remain from this planting period. From 1976, plantations were 
established mainly on clear-felled lands by removal of residual sec- 
ondary forests. High yielding, short rotation species such as frake 
and cedrela Cedrcla odorata received priority (Table 1 6.4). The first 
yields of timber from plantations were expected in 1990. 



Forest management techniques have been developed on a pilot 
scale over the past ten years (see case study in chapter 8) and con- 
sist of progressive elimination, by poison girdling, of undesirable 
species in order to encourage growth in merchantable trees 
(Berthault, 1986). This treatment is said to favour regeneration of 
saleable species and is expected substantially to improve future 
timber production. The question remains, however, as to whether 
there are enough production forests left with sufficient residual 
stocks of saleable trees to make it worthwhile applying the treat- 
ment (FAO, 1988b). There are further concerns about the genetic 
erosion caused by destruction of the other tree species (including 
potentially merchantable ones) and about the future stem qualities 
of the trees growing in the open conditions created by the poison- 
ing programme. It is anticipated that this treatment will be initially 
applied to 5000 sq. km of production forests in the south-western 
region (World Bank, 1990). 

Village tree planting is also planned in the savanna zone, prin- 
cipally to meet the region's future firewood needs. An initial pro- 
gramme of planting 100 sq. km of village woodlots was foreseen 
within the scope of the 1988 'Year of the Forest' project. Earlier 
village forestry programmes established some 20 sq. km of teak 
plantations in the north of Cote d'lvoire (FAO, 1988b). 

Deforestation 

Every study of deforestation in the tropics has concluded that Cote 
d'lvoire has experienced the most rapid deforestation rate in the 
world (Gillis, 1988). As elsewhere in West Africa, there is hardly 
any stretch of natural, unmodified vegetation left in the country. 
Woodlands have been severely altered or degraded by past and 
present human activities such as burning, farming and grazing of 
animals; this probably started as early as 3000 years BP (Sowunmi, 
1986). Savanna grasslands with patches of shrub and open wood- 
land remain; these can be considered a type of fire climax. The 
1 1,500 sq. km of Comoe National Park in the extreme north-east 
constitutes a fine example of such anthropogenic woodlands. A 
mosaic of small forest patches is all that remains of the moist for- 
est belt in the densely populated south-eastern and central parts of 
the country. 

Intensive logging operations in the rain forest, in search of the 
highly valued Meliaceae (mahoganies) and other merchantable 
hardwood species, began shortly after 1950. Log exports rose to a 
peak of 3.5 million cu. m in 1973 and brought Cote d'lvoire into 
fourth place among tropical timber exporting countries. There was 
no attempt to manage the land to obtain a sustainable yield of trees. 
Instead, the opening up of timber concessions was generally fol- 
lowed by total conversion of forested land by invading slash and 



Table 16.4 Industrial plantations by SODEFOR 



Species 


1966-76 


1977-81 


Total he 


Teak 


8,851 


8,432 


17,283 


Niangon, okoume 


2,295 


48 


2,343 


Cedrela 


403 


8,886 


9,289 


Framire, samba 


4,535 


4,681 


9,216 


Frake 


1,869 


20,112 


21,981 


Sipo, acajou, makore 


4,185 


1 


4,186 


Others 


241 


1,984 


2,225 



Total ha 22,379 

iSmirce: adapted from FAO, 1988b) 



44,144 



66,523 



136 



Cote D'Ivoire 




Now an iiHUsuai ^ni in ClU J 1 it/ l i a fai Ui tlu t\e can 
see. This is a view from Mr Nienokoue over tht Hana River and Tai 
National Park. F. Lauginie/WWF 

bum agriculturalists. Smallholder coffee and cacao plantations 
were also a major cause of large-scale forest clearance. Indeed, 
throughout this period, government policies actively encouraged 
the conversion of the forest to these plantations. 

In the mid-1970s, the process accelerated through a cacao and 
coffee boom and affected the still largely forested south-western 
part of the country. Mass immigration from impoverished and 
drought-stricken Sahelian countries further contributed to a rapid 
spread of cultivated areas. South-west Cote d'lvoire, however, still 
possesses around 10,000 sq. km of forest in gazetted reserves and 
this includes the 3500 sq. km Tai National Park. Conservation 
efforts should be directed at preserving this Upper Guinea Refuge 
Area as it is exceptionally rich in endemic plant and animal species. 

Biodiversity 

Cote d'lvoire contains some of the most important sites for bio- 
logical diversity in West Africa. Of particular importance is the Tai 
National Park and the contiguous N'Zo Faunal Reserve. These 
include the largest area of undisturbed lowland rain forest in West 
Africa and are an important centre of diversity for many species of 
plants and animals. Around 4700 species of plant occur in the 
country, including 90 or so endemics (Davis el at., 1986). Mt 
Nimba, with over 2000 species, is particularly rich, while some 
1 300 plant species have been recorded in Tai. 

There are 17 species of primate in Cote d'lvoire (Oates, 1986) 
and five of them are listed as threatened (Lee ei al., 1988). These 



include the chimpanzee Pan troglodytes of which there is a well- 
known tool-using population in Tai National Park. Other threat- 
ened primates are the red-capped mangabey Cercocebiis torquatus, 
the olive colobus Procolobus venis, the western red colobus 
Procolobus [badiits] baduis badins and the diana monkey 
Cercopithecus diana. 

Cote d'lvoire holds important populations of a number of large 
mammals, including around 3600 elephants Loxodonta africana, 
and other threatened species such as the manatee Trichechus sene- 
galensis and pygmy hippopotamus Choeropsis Itberiensis. Two rare 
vivernds, Johnston's genet Genettajohnstoni and Leighton's linsang 
Poiana richardsoni liberiensis occur in the forest zone. The threat- 
ened zebra and Jentink's duikers {Cephalophus zebra and C. 
jentinkt), found in the south-west of the country, are among the 1 9 
antelope species that have been recorded in Cote d'lvoire (Roth 
and Hoppe-Dominik, 1990). 

Of the 668 species of bird recorded for Cote d'lvoire (Stuart et 
al., 1990), seven are listed as threatened. All of these are forest 
species (Collar and Stuart, 1985) and all have been recorded in 
Tai National Park. This park, listed by Unesco as a Biosphere 
reserve, may be one of the last strongholds for the white-breasted 
guineafowl Agelastes meleagrides. 

Two endemic amphibians, Bitfo danielae and Kassina lamottei, 
are restricted to the forests in the south-west. There are eight 
amphibian species of conservation concern in the country 

Conservation Areas and Initiatives 

Between 1968 and 1974, Cote d'lvoire issued a series of decrees 
to conserve some of its biotic diversity in national parks and nature 
reserves (Table 16.5). Six per cent of the land area is covered by 
such conservation areas. Considerable efforts are made to set aside 
a balanced sample of the major vegetation types and thus to pre- 
serve some of the country's genetic capital. Biodiversity in plant 
and animal communities locally attains relatively important levels 
through the fact that some major Pleistocene refuge areas were 
located near or on the country's territory. Mention has already 
been made of the Cape Palmas and Cape Three Point refuges and 
the Nimba mountain areas. Also of special value are some biotopes 
that can be found in the lagoon district, in the forest-savanna eco- 
tone and in the arid savannas. 

Zebra duiker Cephalophus zebra, is a threatened forest species found 
only in Cote d'lvoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone. F. Lauginie/WWF 




137 



Cote D'Ivoire 




Cote D'Ivoire 





BURKINA FASO 







i«--^Sv; S^Sii-^yS-SSv-S'/. Comoe 



lit Bandama 




I Bouake 




^ 



Yamoussoukro J'|_, 



D 



^^ 



L 



^' 



R=,° 



^ 



Nzi 



JL 



D 



4: °[ 
d □ 



GHANA 



(» 






!^ 



^ 



^y^ 



rAzagnw 



QBanco 

ABIDJANfi 



■EbLie-Lagoon 



a°cP 



llesthDtile 



Grand- 
Lahou 



<ULF OF GUINEA 



4°W 



139 



Cote D'Ivoire 



Table 16.5 Conservation areas of Cote d'lvoire 

Forest reserves are not included or mapped. For data on Biosphere 
reserves and World Heritage sites see chapter 9. 



National Parks 

Azagny* 

Bancof 

Comoe 

lies Ehotile* 

Marahoue* 

Mont Pekoe* 

Mont Sangbe* 

Tai"* 
Strict Nature Reserves 

Mont Nimba* 
Fauna and Flora Reserves 

Haut Bandama 
Botanical Reserves 

Divo 
Partial Faunal Reserve 

N'Zo'* 

Total 

(Sourcei: lUCN, 1990; WCMC, m Im.) 



Area (sq. km) 

190 
30 

11,500 

105 

1,010 

340 

950 

3,500 

50 

1,230 

74 

950 

19,929 



* Area with moisl forest within its boundaries according to Map 16.1. 

t Banco National Park does contain some moist forest but not enough to appear on Map 

16.1. 

180 sq, km of N'Zo reserve has now been inundated by Buyo reservoir. 



Conservation areas are, however, under severe human pressure 
and they still lack efficient protection and management. 
Furthermore, it has become increasingly evident that conser\'ation 
strategies that rely heavily on legal measures and police action have 
little or no effect. Active involvement of the local populations in, 
for instance, buffer zone management (currently being investigated 
for Tai (see case study) and Marahoue national parks), may offer 
better possibilities to limit poaching and illegal settlement. 

Hunting was officially closed in 1 974 by a presidential order and 
a ban on logging activities in the entire savanna region was decreed 



in 1982. Notwithstanding these measures, elephant populations 
have been reduced from 10,000 animals in 1950, to 5000 in 1980, 
to current estimates of 3600 individuals (see chapter 4); savanna 
woodlands continue to be cut down for fuelwood needs. Hunting 
activities are also still widespread. Indeed, bushmeat from forest 
duikers Cephalophus spp., antelopes, monkeys, bushpigs 
Poiamochoenis parens and smaller game such as porcupines Hystrix 
cnstata and cane rats Thryononiys szvmderianus, is highly appreci- 
ated and is traded at local markets and served in numerous popu- 
lar restaurants in Abidjan. An attempt to undermine bushmeat 
traffic was initiated in 1988 by the creation of the Abokouamekro 
game farm near Yamoussoukro. This project aims to combine 
wildlife tourism with bushmeat production. 

A World Bank loan recently contributed to improving the infra- 
structure and tourist potential of Comoe and Azagny national 
parks. A funher proposed loan will suppon rehabilitation and man- 
agement operations in Tai, Marahoue and Banco national parks. 
Besides wildlife and nature tourism, scientific research (for 
instance, on the still unexploited potential of their genetic 
resources) and education have been deemed as major objectives 
for these conservation areas. 

Recent conservation initiatives include an African Development 
Bank study of a fairly undisturbed forest region in the coastal area 
of Fresco. Some 450 sq. km of mangrove habitats - containing 
major populations of wetland birds, nesting sea turtles and mana- 
tees, together with fauna-rich inland forests - are proposed for pro- 
tection in a regional park. 

The hinterland of Tabou in the south-western region deserves 
further attention. This was once covered by the most humid type 
of evergreen forest in Cote d'lvoire and, as a Pleistocene refuge, is 
exceptionally rich in endemic plant and animal species (Aubreville, 
1957; Guillaumet, 1967). Most of the area is now lost to agro- 
industrial oil palm and rubber plantations, active timber exploita- 
tion and slash and burn agriculture. A last, virtually intact, but 
unprotected, remainder of this unique biome can be found in the 
Mounts Kope-Hagle hilltop range, located near the Tai National 
Park. Rare or unique tree species such as Brachystegia spp., 
Didelotia unifoliolata and Cynomelra ananta can still be found on 
these inaccessible hilltops where forest exploitation has not 
occurred. However, slash and burn cultivators, forced uphill by 
the expanding oil palm plantations, are taking possession of the 
steep hillsides and threaten the continued existence of this last per- 
humid forest sanctuary in Cote d'lvoire. 



References 

Alba, P. (1956) Le developpement de la foresterie en Afrique 

Occidentale Frantjaise. Journal of the West African Science 

Association 2: 158-71. 
Amoud, J. C. and Sournia, G. (1980) Les forets de Cote 

d'lvoire. Essai de synthese geographique. Annals of the 

University of Abidjan, series G (Geography) IX: 5-93. 
Aubreville, A. (1949) Climats, Forets et Desertification de I'Afrique 

Tropicak. Societe d'Editions Geographiques, Maritimes 

Coloniales, Paris, France. 
Aubreville, A. (1957) A la recherche de la foret en Cote d'lvoire. 

Bois et Forets des Tropiques 56: 17-32; 57: 12-27. 
Berthault, J. G. (1986) Etude de I'Effet d' Interventions Sylvicoles 

sur la Regeneration Naturelle au Sein d'lin Perimetre Expenmcntal 

d'Amenagement en Foret Dense Huinide. Unpublished thesis, 

University of Nancy, France. 
Bertrand, A. (1983) La deforestation en zone de foret de Cote 

d'lvoire. Bois et Forets des Tropiques 202: 3-18. 



Catinot, R. (1965) Sylviculture tropicale en foret dense 

africaine. Bois et Forets des Tropiques 100: 5-18; 101: 3-6; 102: 

3-16; 103: 3-16; 104: 17-31. 
Catinot, R. ( 1 984) Appui a Sodefor pour I'Iniplantation d 'un Programme 

de Protection Contre les Incendies de Forets. Rapport en syKiculture et 

amenagement FO: TCP/r/C/2304 (T). FAO, Rome, Italy. 
Chevalier, A. (1908) La foret vierge de la Cote d'lvoire. La 

Geographic 17: 201-10. 
Collar, N. J, and Stuart, S. N. (1985) Threatened Birds of Africa 

and Related Islands. The ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book Part 1. 

ICBP/IUCN, Cambridge, UK. 761 pp. 
Davis, S. D., Droop, S. J. M., Gregerson, P., Henson, L., Leon, 

C. J., Villa-Lobos, J. L., Synge, H. and Zantovska, J. 

(1986) Plants m Danger: Wliat do we know? lUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 
FAO (1988a) An Interim Report on the State of Forest Resources in 

the Developing Countries. FAO, Rome, Italy. 18 pp. 



140 



Cote D'Ivoire 



Tai National Park Buffer Zone 

The Tai National Park covers an area of 3300 sq. km in south- 
western Cote d'lvoire. It was established as a national park in 
1972 and declared a World Rentage site in 1982. It is the largest 
fully protected area in the Upper Guinea forest block and pes- 
simists would say that it is the only area that is sufficiently large 
and secure to guarantee the survival of the numerous animal and 
plant species endemic to this region. Species such as the pygmy 
hippopotamus, Jentink's and zebra duikers and chimpanzees, 
rare elsewhere in the Upper Guinea zone, are comparatively 
numerous in Tai. lUCN's review of the protected area systems 
of the Afrotropical realm ranked the Tai National Park as the sin- 
gle highest priority for rain forest conservation in West Africa. 
The area has been the subject of many long term ecological 
studies (summarised in Guillaumet et al, 1984). The Tai is now 
a focal area for the Dutch Tropenbos scheme which promotes 
ecological research for wise use of rain forests throughout the 
tropics. WWF also supports conservation through the provision 
of equipment for the staff, the preparation of a management plan 
and help with the demarcation of the boundaries. However, the 
Tai National Park suffers from acute problems. 

The Tai region has experienced spectacular population 
growth in the last few decades. Baoule and Dioula peoples from 
the north of the country have moved into the forest to grow cof- 
fee and cacao, initially with encouragement from the govern- 
ment. This deprived the traditional forest dwelling Gur and 
Oubi peoples of their community forests and forced many of 
them into illegal land settlement and poaching. Forced reset- 
tlement of various peoples in response to changing buffer zone 
boundaries has built up considerable resentment among the 
local populations. At present any agricultural activity even in 
the Tai buffer zone is regarded by the authorities as a direct 
threat to the integrity of the protected area. 

The problems of the buffer zones of Tai National Park have 
been particularly contentious. Some people feel that the buffer 
zone should be totally protected and should be a de facto exten- 
sion of the park itself. Others see that sustainable use of the 
buffer zone forest to meet the needs of local communities is the 
highest priority, so as to relieve pressure on the central area. 

One of the more interesting schemes proposed for the buffer 
zone by the Dutch Tropenbos programme is to promote the 




Oiaiit maili Achatina sp. are widely harvested for food in West 
Afnca. There is a proposal to promote their use in the buffer zone 
around Tai National Park. I. and D. Gordon 

sustained yield management of populations of the African giant 
snail Achatina achatina. These snails provide a protein rich food 
which is highly appreciated by the local population. It is esti- 
mated that 8000 tons were sold in Cote d'lvoire in 1986. The 
snails are easy to catch, can be kept alive for up to a week, and 
come ready packed for transport in their own shells. Each snail 
provides 100-300 grams of meat with no waste. The snails pro- 
duce up to 200 eggs per year and grow rapidly. They live in 
forested areas and in regenerating second growth around farms. 
The Dutch believe that by introducing measures to limit the off- 
take of these snails and to promote their reproduction, they 
could become a major economic justification for the local 
people to maintain forest in the buffer zone around Tai. 

Source: Jeff Sayer 



FAO (1988b) Cote d'lvoire. Programme Sectoriel Forestier. 

Rapport de Preparation. Volumes 1 and 2 14/88 CP-IVC 22. 

FAO, Rome, Italy. 
FAO (1991) FAO Yearbook of Forest Produce 1978-1989. FAO Forestry 

Series No. 24 and FAO Statistics Series No. 97. FAO, Rome, Italy. 
FAO/UNEP (1981) Tropical Forest Resources Assessment Project. 

Pan 2: Coumiy Briefs. FAO, Rome, Italy. 
Gillis, M. (1988) West Africa: resource management policies 

and the tropical forest. In: Public Policies and the Misuse of Forest 

Resources. Repetto, R. and Gillis, M. (eds), pp. 299-351. 

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 
Guillaumet, J. L. (1967) Recherches sur la vegetation et la flore 

de la region du Bas-Cavally (Cote d'lvoire). Memoire ORSTOM 

20: 1-247. 
Guillaumet, J. L., Conturier, G. and Dosso, H. (eds) 

(1984) Recherche et Amenagemem en Milieu forestier Tropical 

Humide: le Projet Taide Cote d'lvoire. MAB Technical Notes No. 



15. Unesco, Paris, France. 

Hall, J. B. and Swaine, M. D. (1981) Distribution and ecology 
of vascular plants in a tropical rain forest. Forest vegetation in 
Ghana. Geobotany 1. 

Lee, P. J., Thomback, J. and Bennett, E. L. (1988) Threatened 
Primates of Afnca. The lUCN Red Data Book. lUCN, Gland, 
Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 

Lena, P. (1984) Le developpement des activites humaines. In: 
Recherche et Amenagement en Milieu forestier Tropical Humide: le 
Project Taide Cote d'lvoire. Guillaumet, J. L., Couturier, G. and 
Dosso, H. (eds), pp. 58-112. MAB Technical Notes No. 15. 
Unesco, Paris, France. 

Mangenot,G. (1955) Etudes sur les foretsdeplaineset plateaux 
de Cote d'lvoire. IFAN, Etudes Ebumeennes 4: 5-61. 

Martineau, A. (1932) Etudes sur I'accroissement des arbres en 
Cote d'lvoire. Acles et Comptes Rendus de I'Association Colonies- 
Sciences 9: 183-7. 



141 



Cote D'Ivoire 

Meniaud, J. ( 1 922) La Fore! de la Cole d'lvoire er sen Exphhaiion. 

Publications Africaines, Paris, France. 
Ministere des Eaux et Forets (1988) Plan Dircclcur Forestier 

1988-2015. Republique de Cote d'lvoire. 
Oates, J. F. (1986) Action Plan for African Primate Conservation 

1986-1990. lUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, Stony 

Brook, New York, USA. 
Paivinen, R. and Witt, R. (1989) The Methodology: Development 

Project for Tropical Forest Cover Assessment in West Africa. 

Unpublished report. UNEP/GRID, Geneva, Switzerland. 
Roth, H. H. and Hoppe-Dominik, B. (1990) Ivory Coast. In: 

Antelopes Global Survey and Regional Action Plans. Pan 3: West 

and Central Africa. East, R. (ed.). lUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 
Schnell, R. (1952) Vegetation et Flore de la Region Montagneuse 

des Moms Nimba. IFAN, 22, Dakar, Senegal. 
Sowunmi, M. A. (1986) Change of vegetation with time. In: 

Plant Ecology in WestAfnca. Lawson, G. W. (ed.), pp. 273-307. 

John Wiley and Sons, New York, USA. 
Stuart, S. N., Adams, R. J. and Jenkins, M. D. (1990) 

Biodiversity in Sub-Saharan Africa and its Islands: Conservation, 

Alanagement and Sustainable Use. Occasional Papers of the 

lUCN Species Sur\'ival Commission No. 6. lUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland. 
Voorhoeve, A. G. ( 1 979) Libenan High Forest Trees. 2nd Edition. 

Pudoc, Wageningen, The Netherlands. 
World Bank (1990) Forestry Sector Project, Republic of Cote 

d'lvoire. Staff appraisal report No. 7421-RCI. 



Authorship 

Fred Vooren, Forestr>' Department, University of Wageningen, 
The Netherlands with contributions from Jeff Sayer, lUCN. 



Map 16.1 Forest cover in Cote d'lvoire 

Information on Cote d'lvoire's remaining moist forests was digitally extracted 
from 1989-90 UNEP/GRID data which accompanies an unpublished report 
The Alelhodology Dcvetopmcut Projcci for Tropical Forest Cover Aiscswienl in W'cst 
Afnca (Paivinen and Witt, 1989). Forest and non-forest boundaries for West 
Africa have been mapped by UNEP/GEMS/GRID. Together with the EEC 
and FINNIDA, they have delimited these boundaries using 1 km resolution 
NOAA/AVHRR-LAC satellite data. These data have been generalised for this 
Atlas to show 2x2 km squares which are predominantly covered in forest. 
Higher resolution satellite data (l^ndsat MSS and TM, SPOT) and field data 
from Ghana, Cote d'lvoire and Nigeria were also used. Forest and non-forest 
data have been categorised into five vegetation types: forest (closed, defined as 
greater than 40 per cent canopy closure); fallow (mixed agriculture, clear-cut 
and degraded forest); savanna (includes open forests in the savanna zone and 
urban areas); mangrove and water. This dataset also portrays areas obscured 
by cloud. The "forest' and 'mangrove' classification and cloud obscured areas 
have been mapped here. Montane, lowland rain forest, mangrove and swamp 
forest, as shown on Map 16. 1, have been demarcated by overlaying White's 
vegetation map (1983) on to the UNEP/GEMS/GRID 'forest' and 'mangrove' 
categories. 

Protected area spatial data are taken from two sources, namely a blue-line 
1 ; 1 million map (no title, nd) showing the delimitation of forest classes, which 
includes conservation areas, and a 1:800,000 scale map Cote d'lvoire (1988) 
published by Michelin, Paris showing national parks and reserves. 



142 



17 Eastern Africa 



SUDAN 

Land area 2,376,000 sq km 

Population (mid- 1990) 25 2 million 

Population growth rate in 1 990 2 9 per teni 

Population projected to 2020 54 6 million 

Gross national product per copito ( 1 988) USS340 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1980)' 6,400 sq km 

Annual deforestation rate ( 1 98 1 -5) ' 40 sq km 

Industrial roundwood productionf 2,087,000 cu m 

Industrial roundwood exports! nd 

Fuelwood and charcoal productionf 20, 1 1 2,000 cu. m 

Processed wood productionf 1 5,000 cu m 

Processed wood exportsf nd 

ETHIOPIA 

Land area 1,101,000 sq. km 

Population (mid-1990) 51 7 million 

Population growth rate in 1 990 2 per cent 

Population projected to 2020 1 26 million 

Gross national product per capita (1988) U5S120 

Rain forest (see Mop 1 7 1 ) 47,256 sq km 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1 980)' 27,500 sq kmf 

Annuol deforestation rote (1981-5)* 60sq km 

Industrial roundwood productionf 1,756,000 cu m 

Industrial roundwood exportsf nd 

Fuelwood and charcoal productionf 37,884,000 cu m 

Processed wood productionf 49,000 cu m 

Processed wood exportsf nd 

SOMALIA 

Land area 627,340 sq, km 

Population (mid- 1 990) 8 4 million 

Population growth rote in 1990 31 per cent 

Population projected to 2020 18 7 million 

Gross national product per copito (1988) USSI70 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1980)' 14,800 sq km 

Annual deforestation rate (1981-5)' 30 sq km 

Industrial roundwood productionf 90,000 cu. m 

Industrial roundwood exportsf nd 

Fuelwood and charcoal productionf 6,896,000 cu. m 

Processed wood productionf 1 4,000 cu m 

Processed wood exportsf nd 



DJIBOUTI 

Land area 23, 1 80 sq. km 

Populotion (mid- 1 990) 4 million 

Populotion growth rote in 1 990 3 per cenl 

Population projected to 2020 1 million 

Gross notionol product per copito (1988) nd 

Closed broodleoved forest (end 1980)' lOsq. km 

Annual deforestotion rate (1981-5) nd 

Industrial roundwood productionf nd 

Industriol roundwood exportsf nd 

Fuelwood ond chorcoal productionf nd 

Processed wood productionf nd 

Processed wood exportsf nd 

KENYA 

Land area 569,690 sq, km 

Populotion (mid-1 990) 24.6 million 

Populotion growth rate in 1990 3 8 per cent 

Population projected to 2020 60 5 million 

Gross notional product per capita (1988) USS360 

Closed broodleoved forest (end 1 980)' 6900 sq km 

Annual deforestation rote (1981-5)' llOsq.km 

Industrial roundwood productionf 1,766,000 cu. m 

Industrial roundwood exportsf nd 

Fuelwood and charcoal productionf 33,884,000 cu m 

Processed wood productionf 237,000 cu m 

Processed wood exportsf 1 000 cu m 

TAN7ANIA 

land area 886,040 sq. km 

Population (mid-1990) 26 million 

Population growth rote in 1 990 3 7 per cenl 

Population projected to 2020 68 8 million 

Gross notional product per capita (1988) USSI60 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1980)' 14,400 sq km 

Annual deforestation rate ( 1 98 1 -5) ' 1 00 sq km 

Industrial roundwood productionf 1,989,000 sq km 

Industrial roundwood exportsf nd 

Fuelwood and charcool productionf 31,11 4,000 cu. m 

Processed wood productionf 171,000 cu m 

Processed wood exportsf 6000 cu. m 




■ F»0 1198801 

t l989dolafiomFA0(1991) 

f Figure includes coniferous ond bomboo forKi, eslimoted 

by fAO (1 988o) lo cover 1 6,000 sq km in 1 980 



The East African nations form a cohesive unit in discussions on moist forests as they share the problems of small, 
fragmented areas of forest under extreme pressure of encroachment and exploitation. Yet these forest patches, in most 
countries making up less than 2 per cent of the land area, have great significance for both water catchment and for the con- 
servation of biological diversity. While East Africa has long been noted for its excellent network of protected areas, these 
were usually developed for savanna animals - not for forest biota. Despite high diversity and endemism among plants, 
birds, mammals and other taxa, few forest areas are included in the national parks network. Forest reserve status, while no 
longer allowing clear-felling, does permit hea'v^ levels of exploitation and often cannot prevent encroachment. With the 
deteriorating economic situation there has been a reduction in management capability and it is likely that the biodiversity 
of East Africa's forests will be increasingly at risk in the future. 



Introduction 

The six East African nations of Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, 
Kenya anci Tanzania share many similarities with respect to their for- 
est cover. For instance, their very restricted closed canopy moist 
forests have all suffered severe deforestation in the past hundred 
years. The remaining forest patches are often isolated, biologically 
diverse and contain numerous local endemics, often of less mobile 
taxa. Nevertheless, the forests have surprising levels of similarity in 
structure and species composition. In addition, most of the forests 



are under intense pressure from high and growing populations, all 
of whom need land, fuel, poles and other resources. Lastly, forest 
products are not major export items in any of these countries. 

Forests 

In chapter 1 the limitations of the forest t\'pes considered within 
this Atlas are described. In East Afnca it becomes panicularly 
important to appreciate these limits, since there is a wide variet>' 



143 



Eastern Africa 

of forest and bushland types, some of which will not be included 
even though they may be dense, to the point of having a closed 
canopy. The maps in this chapter indicate lowland and montane 
rain forest, swamp forest and mangrove, but exclude those closed 
and open canopy formations that occur in drylands (such as 
Acacia-Conimiphora woodlands). 

Table 17.1 is a summary of the formations occurring in eastern 
Africa that lie within the scope of this Atlas, with some indication of 
their original extent. As may be seen, lowland rain forests occur only in 
Kenya - except for relict inland forest mosaics with grassland in Sudan, 
Kenya and Tanzania - and as coastal forest mosaics in Somalia, Kenya 
and Tanzania. Swamp forests occur only in Tanzania. Montane rain 
forests are extensive as mosaics with other vegetation in all countries 
except Djibouti, while mangrove is represented in all countries. 

East African forests usually require at least 800 mm rainfall for 
full development, and do not grow above 3000 m altitude (Lind and 
Morrison, 1974). There is similarity in forest structure and, to some 
extent, species composition across geographically wide areas in the 
region. For example, the Imatongs of Sudan, Gambella of Ethiopia, 
Cheranganis of Kenya and Mt Meru of Tanzania have similar 
forest communities at corresponding altitudes. Local conditions of 
exposure, geology, soil depth, mist frequency and seasonality of rain- 
fall all lead to a finer pattern of community differentiation than White 
(1983) was able to portray. No standardised detailed classification 
is available for eastern Africa and communities are best described by 
dominant species and environmental features. 

The mangrove flora of East Africa is richer and totally different 
from that of West Africa. Nine tree species occur, all with wide 
Indo-Pacific ranges; all are found in Kenya and Tanzania, but only 
three reach the Red Sea coasts of Sudan and Ethiopia (White, 
1983). Mangrove distribution is very fragmented, with concentra- 
tions at the mouths of larger rivers such as the Rufiji. 



Forest Resources and Management 

Forestry has long been a major land use activity in eastern Africa. In 
Kenya and Tanzania, the forestry services were established, many 
reserves gazetted and resources documented by 1905 (Rodgers, in 
press). Reservation was for maintaining timber value and, in many 
regions, for water catchment. Early forestry was not conscious of the 
need for biological diversity conservation, and the development of the 
national park concept focused almost exclusively on the large mam- 
mal faunas of the savanna woodlands and grasslands, not the forests. 

However, forestry has changed in its attitude to natural forest 
resources. Until the 1960s much natural forest, after selective log- 
ging, was convened to large scale exotic monoculture plantations 
{Phius patula and Cupressus lusilanka were common choices). This 
was due to the perceived low proportion of favoured indigenous 
species, such as Ocotea, and inadequate regeneration. However, all 
nations have now formally renounced such practices and the 
remaining forests are seen as providing a multiplicity of benefits: 
climate buffenng, water, timber (from a much greater mix of 
species) and genetic resource conservation. 

High rainfall forest land is also important in providing environ- 
mental services in support of agriculture. But forest lands can pro- 
duce high income cash crops such as tea and coffee and support 
dense populations. In Kenya only 12 per cent of the land is suitable 
for rain-fed agriculture and one-quarter of this is forest reserve. The 
human population is largely dependent on igriculture (88 per cent) 
and is growing at 3.8 per cent per annum. The pressures on forest 
land are thus immense and increasing. This is mirrored throughout 
East Africa (Rodgers, in press; Hallsworth, 1982). 

These pressures will, in the long term, materially affect the 
ability of the forest sector to maintain goods and services. 
Encroachment for agricultural land remains a major threat, as 
described by Kokwaro (1988) for Kakamega Forest in Kenya. 



Table 17.1 Moist forest types and their distribution in Eastern Africa, with figures giving the estimated original extent of each type (in sq. km) 



Forest type 



Sudan 



Ethiopia 



Somalia 



Lowland dryland rain forests 
2. Gumeo-Congolian rain 

forests: drier types 
11a. Guineo-Congolian mosaic 
of rain forest and 
grassland 22,800 

16. East African coastal 
mosaic: 

(a) Zanzibar Inhambane 

(b) forest patches 

17. Cultivation and 
secondary grassland 
replacing upland and 
montane forest 



18,200 



Keiiva 



2,900 



11,500 



28,400 
4,600 



Tanzania 



Djibouti 



12,700 



97,700 
600 



12,700 



Lowland wetland rain forests 
8. Swamp 



800 



Montane rain forests 

19a. Afromontane vegetation 4,200 213,400 

65. Altimontane vegetation 23,200 



1,200 



28,900 
1,800 



50,300 
1,200 



Mangrove 

77. Mangrove 1,800 

(Sources: forest types: from White, 1QR3; forest extent data: MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 1986) 

144 



3,100 



5,300 



300 



Eastern Africa 




Ganiett 's bmhhaby Gaiago garncttii, (s a nocturnal pnniatc tliat is 
coinmoii in Diani forest on the eoasl of Kenya. C. Harcourt 

Slowly forestry departments are recognising that protection by 
force cannot maintain forest cover in the long run. In many areas 
protection measures have failed, largely as a result of economic 
problems. Tanzania, for example, no longer has the field capabil- 
ity to protect forests. This is reflected in the lack of convictions for 
forest offences. Governments, often assisted by international aid 
agencies, are attempting to develop sustainable land use practices 
in key forest areas so as to reduce pressure on forest resources. 
Projects usually involve a combination of community agroforestry 
techniques for fuelwood production, improved agricultural pro- 
ductivity, conservation awareness and increased forest protection. 

Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia have either completed or have 
begun a Tropical Forestry Action Plan (TFAP) and a National 
Conservation Strategy (NCS). The intention of such plans has 
been to reinforce the long-term strategic importance of natural 
forests in agriculture, water and energy. The TFAP views com- 
mercial use as a secondary activity wherever there are environ- 
mental concerns, and calls for industrial wood needs to be met 
from plantations on non-forest land. Such programmes have, how- 
ever, met with mixed success. The Tanzanian TFAP forest sector 
review, for example, contrasts markedly with the Kenya review in 
its detailed coverage of environmental issues. 

Detailed planning is still inadequate and few natural forests have 
working or management plans. Mapping is incomplete, resource 
inventories and documentation usually poor. There is a need for 
much greater investment in the natural forest if it is to survive and 
continue to provide resources in the face of growing land pressure. 

Surveys of forest status can be found in FAOAJNEP (1981) and 
are further summarised in FAO (1988a). The World Bank has 
provided status reports on the forestry sector for many countries, 
although these do not always comment on natural forest or bio- 
diversity. MacKinnon and MacKinnon (1986) provided a compre- 
hensive review of conservation needs for protected areas of Africa 
based on ^X'hite's vegetation types. Descriptions of existing protected 
areas - regrettably, these are rarely forests - are found in lUCN 
( 1 987a, b). Patterns of biodiversity are detailed in Stuart el at. ( 1 990) . 



Sudan 

Rain forests in Sudan are restricted to forest and grassland mosaics on 
die Imatong, Dongotona and Didinga mountains on the southern bor- 
der of the country, and to the wetter south-western border with Zaire (see 
Figure 17.1; it has not been possible to obtain a recent, accurate veg- 
etation map of Sudan showing 'acmal' closed moist forest) . Mangroves 
occur only in small and scattered patches on the Rad Sea coast, the 
pnncipal species being Aviccnnia manna, Rluzop/ioia and Bnigniera. 

The Southern Mountains are in three main blocks, Imatong, 
Dongotona and Didinga, comprising a total mountain area of 
60,000 sq. km. The highest point is 3187 m at Kinyeti on the 
Imatongs, Mt Lotuke is 2963 m on Didinga and Dongtona reaches 
2800 m Qackson, 1956). Receiving an annual rainfall of 1500 mm 
the mountains have great catchment value and support cash crops 
such as tea, a growing agricultural population, and both natural 
forest and plantation logging industries. The area above 2500 m 
has never been cultivated (Jenkins et at, 1977). The Imatongs are 
by far the largest mountains, and Jenkins et al. (1977) described 
lowland, lower montane and upper montane forest zones on them. 
The lowland forests are scattered patches of Milicia, Khaya and 
Albizia trees, while the lower montane forests are more diverse with 
Croton, Olea, Ocotea, PoJoearpns, Primus, Syzyghiiii and Teelea. The 
upper montane forests have Hagenia, Maesa and Podocarpus species 
merging into Gnidia-Hypeneiint heath. Upper montane forest is 
found on Didinga, which has only tiny patches of this type, while 
the Dongotona massif has a 17 sq. km relict of it. 

Tropical rain forest (the drier type of Guineo-Congolian rain forest) 
exists in small patches in the west and south of Sudan, e.g. around 
Talanga, Lott, I^mboni at the foot of the Imatongs, Azza in Mendi 
District and Yambio on the Aloma plateau. Annual rainfall exceeds 
1 300 mm and emergent trees can reach 50 m. Cellis, Chiysophyllinn 

Figure 17.1 Approximate ecological zones of Sudan. Rain forests 

are restricted to the south and south-west (.Source: Hillman, 1 985) 




Rom forest 



145 



Eastern Africa 

Table 17.2 Major forest protected areas of eastern Africa 



SUDAN 

Existing Protected A reas 



Size (sg. km) 



Protected Area Formally 
Proposed by Government 



Bengangai GR 170 

Bire Kpatuos GR 5 

Further Requirements: Red Sea Hills; upgrade forest GRs and NCAs to full NP 



Imatong Mountains NCA 
Jebel Marra Massif NCA 



Size (sq. km) 

1,000 
1,500 



ETHIOPIA 

Bale Mountains NP 
Gambella NP 
Simen Mountains NP 
Nechisar NP 



2,471 

5,061 

Small forest area 

Small forest area 



Further Requirements: Upgrade Gambella GR to NP; lUubabor forests (lower forests); Gara Ades Mount (dry montane forest); Lakes 
Asaita and Gargori (riverine forest); Belleta Sai and Gore to Tepi forests (for coffee and for upland forest); Tiro Boter (medium alti- 
tude forest); Neghelli-Arero forest patches 



SOMALIA AND DJIBOUTI 

Foret du Day NP 



100 



Daalo Forest NP 
Gaan Libaah NP 



2,510 
500 



Further Requirements: Libaah Xeela Helleh as a national park; Ahl Mescat Mts and Wagger Mts as a reserve; Juba and Scebeli rivers 
(riparian forest); Jowhar-Warshek (Mogadishu GR) 



KENYA 

Aberdare NP 
Mt Elgon NP 
Mt Kenya NP 
Kakamega NPf 
Nairobi NP 
Arabuko-Sokoke NR 
South-Westem Mau NR 
Nandi North NR 
Boni National NaR 
Marsabit NaR 
Masai Mara NaR 
Shimba Hills NaR 
Tana River Primate NaR 



766 (part forest) 

1 69 (part forest) 

715 (part forest) 

45 (part forest) 

1 1 7 (pan forest) 

43 

430 

34 

1,339 (little forest) 

2 1 (little forest) 

1,510 (little forest) 

193 (little forest) 



Marsabit NP 360 

Diani Marine NP Complex (may have forest) 



169 (little forest) 

Further Requirements: Nature reserve or park status for: pan of Cheranganis, much more of Kakamega, pan of Ngurimans, Taita Hills, 
more forest for Mt Kenya 



TANZANIA* 




Arusha NP 


<50 


Gombe NP 


<10 


Kilimanjaro NP 


<20 


Mahale Mountain NP 


<200 


Rubondo 


180 


Ruhaha 


20 


Mt Meru 


1000 


Mikumi NP 


<10 


Ngorongoro CA 


<200 


Selous GR 


<100 




(+1000 thicket) 



Uzungwa NP 



500 



Further Requirements: Itigi Thicket; Southern Highlands; Minziro; Uluguru Mts, E and W Usambara Mts; Rufiji Delta mangroves 



f Exists as a NaR, proposed as a NP. 

* Sizes given here are estimates of closed forest extent within existing and proposed protected areas 



GR: Game Reserve 
NP: National Park 
NR: Nature Reserve 



NaR: National Reserve 

CA: Conservation Area 

NCA: Nature Conservation Area. 



146 



Eastern Africa 




5 20 



Figure 17.2 Conservation areas of Sudan 

(.Source: Hillman, 1985) 

albidwii, Erythrophlewn, Entandrophragina angolense, Holoptelea graitdis, 
Khaya, Maesopsis emimi and AHiaa are typical canopy species and genera. 
There are no recent reliable estimates of forest cover in Sudan. 
The World Bank (1986) gives an overall forest area estimate of 
940,000 sq. km, with 16,200 sq. km of tropical high forest, all in 
south Equatoria Province. FAO (1988a) estimates a total of 6400 sq. 
km of closed forest, based on data in FAOAJN'EP (1981) from a sur- 
vey in the 1970s. Persson (1975) quoted figures of 12,000 sq. km of 
gazetted forest reserve, of which 3000 sq. km was in high forest. 
Imatong Central Forest Reserve alone is 1032 sq. km 0enkins et al., 
1977). Deforestation is said to be rapid, estimated at 40 sq. km per 
annum for the years 1981-5 (FAO, 1988a). The World Bank (1986) 
stressed the severe consequences of deforestation for agriculture. 

Biodiversity 

There is little information on the biodiversity of Sudan's forest. 
Brenan's (1978) review of plant diversity and endemism in Africa, 
suggests overall diversity is low: about 3200 species of which fewer 
than 50 (that is, less than 1.5 per cent of the total) are endemic. These 
are mainly dryland species and include 1 1 endemics of the Jebel 
Marra massif (Wickens, 1 976), an example of which is Kickxia dibolo- 
phylla. The Imatong Mountains are recognised as being of outstand- 
ing biological importance, on account of their geographical position 
and the vanety of plant and animal life in the forest and non-forest 
habitats. A subspecies of spotted ground-thrush Turdus fischeri maxis 
was recently named from the Lotti Forest on the south-west Imatongs 
(Collar and Stuan, 1985). 



Table 17.3 Conservation areas of Sudan 

Existing and proposed areas are listed below. Marine national 
parks and bird sanctuaries are not listed. For data on Biosphere 
reserves see chapter 9. For locations see Figure 17.2. 





Existing area 


Proposed area 


Numbe 


National Parks 


(sq. km) 


(sq. km) 




Bandingilo 


16,500 




1 


Boma 


22,800 




2 


Binder 


8,900 




3 


Lantoto 




760 


4 


Nimule 


410 




5 


Radomf 


12,500 






Shambe 


620 




6 


Southern 


23,000 




7 


Wildlife Sanctuaries 








Arkawitf 


820 






Arkawit-Sinkatf 


120 






Khanoum Sunt Forestf 


15 






Gatne Reserves 








Abrochf 




nd 




Ashana 


900 




8 


Bengangai 


170 




9 


Bire Kpatuos 


5 




10 


Boro 




1,500 


11 


Chelkou 


5,500 




12 


Fanyikango Island 


480 




13 


Juba 


200 




14 


Kidepo 


1,200 




15 


Macharf 




nd 




Mbarizunga 


10 




16 


Meshra 




4,500 


17 


Mongallaf 


75 






Numatina 


2,100 




18 


Rahadt 


3,500 






Sabalokaf 


1,160 






Tokarj- 


6,300 






Wadi Howarf 




nd 




Zeraf 


9,700 




19 


Nature Conservation Area. 








Imatong Mountains 




1,000 


20 


Jebel Elbaf 




4,800 




Jebel Marra Massif 




1,500 


21 


Lake Ambadif 




1,500 




Lake Nof 




nd 





Totals 



116,985 



15,560 



(Source: lUCN, IQgObi WCMC m Im.) 

t Not mapped - no location data available to this project. 
Areas with moist forest are listed in Table 17.2. 



Conservation Areas 

While Sudan already has a large area gazetted as national parks, 
wildlife sanctuaries and game reserves (see Figure 17.2), with others 
proposed, there is little protection for the forests. The Imatongs 
and other southern mountain forests are forest reserves and so still 
open to legal exploitation. Their gazettement as full national parks 
is a major priority (MacKinnon and AiacKinnon, 1986). The Red 
Sea Hills and Jebel Marra also need protection. 

Two game reserves, Bengangai and Bire Kpatuos totalling 175 
sq. km, protect mammals in the south-western lowland forest, but 
no information is available on the effectiveness of this protection for 
the total forest ecosystem. Details are given in Tables 17.2 and 17.3. 



147 



Eastern Africa 
Ethiopia 

Ethiopia has extensive and varied montane rain forests (Table 
17.1, Map 17.1). Nine distinct associations each with several con- 
stituent communities, are recognised (Friis and Tadesse, 1988). 
Humid, mixed forests occur in southern Ethiopia and Harerge 
province, with genera of the species Podocarpus, Crown, Olea and 
Schefflera, and Hagenia at higher altitudes. In the south-west, 
broadleaved forests with Ugandan affinities are found. Aningeria 
adolfi-fricdcricii is the main emergent, reaching a height of 40 m. In 
addition, some riparian forests occur along water courses in the 
lowlands. Small areas of mangrove (mainly Avicenmd) occur in 
shallow bays on the Eritrea coast. 

Historical estimates suggest some 87 per cent of the Ethiopian 
highlands had forest and woodland cover, but this was reduced 
to 40 per cent by 1950 and just 5.6 per cent by 1980 (lUCN, 
1990a). Forest in the entire country declined from an original 
cover of 35 per cent to 16 per cent by 1952, 3.6 per cent by 1980, 
2.7 per cent by 1987 and an estimated 2.4 per cent in 1990. 
Deforestation rates estimated from Pohjonen and Pukkala 
(1990) are shown in Table 17.4 but these figures are for wood- 
land and thicket as well as 'forest' as defined in this Atlas. This 
forest loss and the subsequent marginal agriculture have led to 
some 270,000 sq. km of the 540,000 sq. km plateau area having 
moderate or serious erosion, causing a soil loss of 1.5 billion 
tonnes per annum. 

Forests are destroyed for fuelwood, and an estimated 10,000 
sq. km of fast growing plantations are needed to prevent con- 
tinued loss of natural forests. Today there are 3100 sq. km of 
plantation, but some of these contain slow growing species such 
as Cupressus lusitanica, and many are poorly stocked. If villagers 
were to change from cow dung fuel to wood, and so restore soil 
fertility, then some 20,000-30,000 sq. km of plantations would 
be needed. If the population reaches 70 million people by 
the year 2000 (almost 52 million today and 2 per cent growth) 
then 30,000-40,000 sq. km would be needed. Continuous defor- 
estation, therefore, seems inevitable (Pohjonen and Pukkala, 
1990). 

Map 17.1 shows 47,256 sq. km of closed canopy forest, all of it 
montane (for sources see legend for Map 17.1 on p. 160). In com- 
parison with the estimates made by FAO ( 1 988a) this figure is gen- 
erous and is taken to include not only broadleaved forest (the FAO 
1980 figure is 27,500 sq. km) but also coniferous forest (FAO 
1980, 8000 sq. km) and bamboo. Most of the estimated 27,500 
sq. km of closed broadleaved forest is in the south-west, and 60 
per cent is in the Illubabor Administrative Region. This area has 
some 1 40 million cu. m of standing timber of which 50-60 per cent 
was considered to be merchantable species (Chaffey, 1979). Wood 
use is estimated at 24 million cu. m per annum, which is 60 per 



Table 17.5 Conservation areas of Ethiopia 



Conservation areas are listed below. Marine national parks and 
controlled hunting areas are not included or mapped. For data on 
World Heritage sites see chapter 9. 





Area (sq. km) 


National Parks 




Abijatta-Shalla Lakes 


887 


Awash 


756 


Bale Mountains* 


2,471 


Gambella 


5,061 


Mago 


2,162 


Nechisar 


514 


Omo* 


4,068 


Simen Mountains' 


179 


Yangudi Rassa 


4,731 


Wildlife Reserves 




Alledeghi 


1,832 


Awash West 


1,781 


Bale* 


1,766 


Chew Bahr 


4,212 


Gash Setit 


709 


Gewane 


2,439 


Mille Sardo 


8,766 


Nakfa 


1,639 


Shire 


753 


Tama* 


3,269 


Yob 


2,658 



Sanctuaries 

Babile Elephant 6,982 

Senkelle Swayne's Hartebeest 54 

Yavello 2,537 



Totals 



60,226 



(Sourcer. lUCN, 1990b; WCMC, m Im.) 

• Area with moist forest within its boundaries according to Map 17.1. 
' Awash and Simen are the only two legally gazetted national parks. The remainder are 
'managed' as national parks but are not yet gazetted. 



Table 17.4 Deforestation rates for the Ethiopian Highlands 



Year 


Forest area 


Deforestation 




(sq. km) 


Loss rate per annum 
(sq. km) 


1900 


530,000 


- 


1950 


210,000 


6,400 


1965 


90,000 


8,000 


1985 


35,000 


2,750 



(Source: Pohjonen and Pukkala, 1990) 



cent more than the sustainable cut of 1 5 million cu. m which could 
be achieved with good management; therefore there is a loss of 
1600-2000 sq. km of forest and woodland per annum (lUCN, 
1990a). 

Forestry and wildlife matters are within the State Forest 
Conservation and Development Department in the Ministry of 
Agriculture. Traditionally much of the forest was not on govern- 
ment land and so there has not been a long history of control and 
management planning. The preliminary Tropical Forestry Action 
Plan for Ethiopia (FAO, 1988b) identified 37 priority forest areas 
totalling 36,000 sq. km, of which 16,000 sq. km are in the 
Illubabor Region. All were in urgent need of protection and man- 
agement. 



148 



Eastern Africa 



/DJIBOUTI Monlone (Juniper) j"^^ 


/ ^_/^ C^^ Mongrove \__/<!^^^^2^ 1_ 


X^^Monlane (Juniper) (~Ni;~dl;~\^ S f 


/ Sub Deserl C 


/ SOMALIA / 




/ CAcotio Woodland // 




1 Xy^^ogodishu 




X^g,^^ / Mongrove 




^^^ Fotesl Mosoic 


i 


&-^ 



Figure 17.3 Vegetation types of Somalia. Moist forests include 
the montane forests in the north, the coastal mosaic m the south 
and coastal mangrove patches 

(Map compiled from vanous sources on file at WCMC. No map of actual forest extent is 
available.) 



Biodiversity 

lUCN (1989) reviews overall biodiversity levels in Ethiopia, which 
are relatively high in many animal groups and plants. Hamilton 
(1989) considers Ethiopia to be a minor core area for endemism 
and biodiversity, while Brenan (1978) suggested plant endemism, 
based on a part sample of the flora, to be over 20 per cent. More 
recent work, for instance by Friis (1982), puts the figure between 
10 and 20 per cent. One major centre of endemism is the Ogaden 
desert, with several endemic genera, but there are also four recog- 
nisable centres of endemism in the high mountain regions. 
Egziabher (1990) discusses the importance of the south-western 
forests of Tepi, Didessa, Gore and Harenna for conserving rapidly 
dwindling wild gene-pools of Cojjea arabica. 

Of the mammals, 22 of Ethiopia's 242 species (9 per cent) are 
endemic, though few are forest forms. Twenty-seven of 847 bird 
species are endemic (3.2 per cent) including several forest species, 
the highest level of any mainland country of Africa. One such 
species is Prince Ruspoli's turaco Tauraco nispolii, which is 
endemic to forest patches near Neghelli (Collar and Stuart, 1 985). 
Several reptile and amphibian species, especially tree-frogs, are 
localised endemics in different forest blocks. 



Conservation Areas 

Table 17.2 lists four national parks with closed forest; three of 
them, Bale, Gambella and Nechisar, do not have full legal pro- 
tection. Consolidation of Gambella National Park and creation of 
further protected areas in the Illubabor and Gore to Tepi forests 
must be the highest forest conservation priorities in Ethiopia. Beals 
( 1 968) discussed conservation needs in detail, while proposed pro- 
tected areas are summarised in MacKinnon and MacKinnon 
(1986) and Table 17.5 lists existing and proposed conservation 
areas in the country. 



Somalia and Djibouti 

Somalia has coastal mosaic forest in the extreme south, small 
areas of montane forest in the northern hills and some coastal 
mangrove patches (see Figure 17.3). The montane forests are in 
ranges rising to 2500 m, with evergreen thicket (mainly Biixus 
hildebrandlii) and relict patches of juniper forest above 1300 m. 
Deforestation has been severe and the vegetation is grossly over- 
grazed. In the south, the northernmost limits of White's (1983) 
coastal mosaic forests occur in the Kismayo depression, known 
as the Holawajir Forest (Douthwaite, 1987). Riparian forests on 
the Juba and Scebeli rivers are of importance but are rapidly being 
felled. 

There are no recent reliable estimates of closed forest cover 
or deforestation rates. For Somalia FAO (1988a) estimates 
14,800 sq. km of closed forest, although much of this is not 
forest in the sense used here. Forest reserves total 4000 sq. km, 
but a good deal of this area is believed to be scrub and wood- 
land. 

Biodiversity 

The northern forests do have some bird and plant species com- 
munities of interest. Collar and Stuart (1988) and lUCN (1 987b) 
mention the Day Forest of the Goda Mountains (1983 m above 
sea level) in Djibouti, which is ostensibly a national park, but 
little managed. This has the endemic Djibouti francolin 
Francolinus ochropeaus and near-endemic palm Ltvistona cariiieii- 
sis; both are very rare. These documents stress the value of Daalo 
(Daloh) Forest Reserve, which is in good Juniperus-Olea forest in 
north Somalia. It has an endemic bird, the Warsangali linnet 
Carduelis johannis and an isolated leopard Panthera pardus popu- 
lation. 

Conservation Areas 

Little attention has been paid to forest relicts in Somalia; indeed, 
Madgwick (1989) is exceptional in detailing the decline and 
destruction of riverine forests. Table 17.2 lists two proposed parks 
in the northern mountains, Gaan Libaa and Daalo, and suggests 
that three more, plus patches of riparian forest, are needed to pro- 
tect forest values. The Mogadishu Game Reserve, which should 
have been included in the proposed national park of Jowhar- 
Warshek (lUCN, 1987b), reputedly no longer exists. Parker 
(1987) describes patches of relatively undisturbed forest on the 
Juba River at Shoonto and Barako, but Arbowerow forests on the 
lower Scebeli River have disappeared. All were suggested for strict 
nature reserve status by Sale (1989). The Foret du Day National 
Park of Djibouti has little protection, and as a consequence forest 
cover is degrading rapidly. Table 17.6 lists proposed and existing 
consen'ation areas in Somalia and Djibouti: Figure 17.4 shows 
those protected areas for which data were available. 



149 



Eastern Africa 




Eastern Africa 

Table 17.6 Conservation areas of Somalia and Djibouti 

Existing and proposed conservation areas are listed below. Controlled hunting areas are not recorded. For locations see Figure 17.4. 



Existing area Proposed area Number 



Existing area Proposed area Number 



(sq. km) 



SOMALIA 



National Parks 

Angole-Farbiddu 

Awdhegle-Gandershe 

Daalo Forest 

Gaan Libaah 

Gezira Lagoonf 

Har Yiblanef 

Jowhar-Warshek 

Lag Badana-Bushbush 

Lag Dere 

Las Anod-Taleh-El Chebet 

Rus Cuba 

Nature Reserves 
Alifuuto (Arbowerow) 
Balcadf 

Game Reserves 

Bushbushf 

Geedkabehleh 

Manderaf 

Mogadishu 

Partial Game Reserves 

Belet Wein 

Bulo Bunit 

Jowharf 

Oddurt 

Wildlife Reserves 

Boja Swamps 

Eji-Oobale 

El Hammure 

Far Libahf 

Far Wamo 

Haradere-Awale Rugno 

Harqan Dalandoole 

Hobyo 

Qurajof 

Ras Hajun 

Zeila 

Totals 



3,340 
104 
nd 
nd 



nd 
nd 
nd 
nd 



5,246 



(sq. km) 



nd 

800 
2,510 

500 

50 

nd 
2,200 
3,340 
5,000 
,8,000 

nd 



1,800 
2 



1,100 

nd 
4,000 

nd 
1,400 
2,500 
8,000 
2,500 

nd 

nd 
4,000 

45,900 



10 

11 
12 

13 



14 
15 
16 

17 
18 
19 
20 

21 

22 



Figure 17.4 Conservation areas (existing and proposed) of 
Somalia and Djibouti 

(Sources: Kingdon, 1 990; Stuart cl a/. , 1990) 



DJIBOUTI 

National Parks 
Foret du Day 

Integral Reserves 
Maskali Sudf 

Parks 

Musha Territorialf 

Total 

(Source: lUCN, 1990b) 



(sq. km) 

100 

nd 

nd 
100 



(sq. km) 



23 



* Area with moist forest are listed in Table 17.2. 

t Not mapped - no spatial data available to this project. 

nd no data 




151 



Eastern Africa 



Kenya 

Kenya has the most diverse forests in East Africa, with lowland rain 
forest in western Kenya, montane forest in the central and west- 
ern highlands and on higher hills and mountains along the south- 
em border. In addition, there are some coastal mosaic forests and 
fairly extensive mangroves, particularly at Lamu and at the mouth 
of the Tana River. 

Despite the long history of managed forestry in Kenya there has 
been little published synthesis of the variety of forest vegetation types 
until recently. The major forest blocks of Mt Kenya, the Aberdares 
and Mau have sparse descriptions of vegetation and floristics. Lind 
and Morrison (1974) give a general account of East African forests 
mcluding those of Kenya; Hamilton and Perrott (1981) describe Mt 
Elgon in detail; Coetzee (1967) and Zamierowski (1975) give an 
introduction to Mt Kenya; Beentje (1990) provides an overview, 
recognising 21 forest types (excluding mangroves). 

Map 17.2 shows closed forest to be widely but sparsely dis- 
tributed across most of Kenya except the north-east. Forests can 
be summarised in six main blocks: 

1 The volca)iic tnounlainy. Elgon, Kenya and associated high ranges 
of the Aberdares, Cherangani, Alau; 

2 The zvcsieni plateau: Kabamet, Kakamega, Nandi, Trans-Mara; 

3 Tlie northern iiiowitauis: Ndotos, Mathews, Leroghi, Kulal, Mar^abit; 

4 The coastal forests: Arabuko-Sokoke, Tana, Kayas, coral rag; 

5 The southern hills: Taita, Taveta and Shimba, Nguruman, and 

6 The riverine forests: Tana and tributaries, Ewaso-ngiso, Kerio, 
Turkwell. 

The most widespread montane associations are the moist 
Ocotea-Polyscias and drier Podocarpus-Casstpourea forests. 
jfuinperus-Olea dominate upper slopes, while the lowland forests 
are extremely diverse. 



All forests are under pressure, being the only lands suitable for 
expansion of rain-fed agriculture (Young, 1984; Polhill, 1988; 
Beentje, 1990). The Worid Bank (1988) recognises the central 
problem of watershed protection, the failure of which threatens 
agriculture and hydroelectric schemes and, consequently, the 
national economy. 

Until a Presidential Directive in 1984 reversed the practice, 
indigenous forest was cut for plantations of exotic species. Kenya's 
forests are being over-exploited by excessive legal harvesting as well 
as by illegal pitsawyers (Young, 1984; Worid Bank, 1988). The 
Mau forest block, which is the largest single block of forest in East 
and Central Africa with some 2440 sq. km, has lost 30 per cent of 
its forest cover to illegal encroachment in recent years. 

Kokwaro (1988), describing in detail the biologically important 
Kakamega Forest, reports a decrease from 238 sq. km to 100 sq. 
km in the past 30 years due to serious encroachment and contin- 
ued overuse for timber, charcoal, firewood, cash crops and forest 
plantation. The adjacent Nandi Reser\'e decreased by 7 per cent 
in the 1970s. The impact of a further Presidential Directive ban- 
ning the cutting of natural trees, in 1988, remains to be seen. 

Estimates of closed forest vary, depending on definition. FAO's 
1980 data describe 6900 sq. km of broadleaved closed canopy for- 
est, 2500 sq. km of coniferous forest and 1650 sq. km of bamboo, 
a total of 11,050 sq. km, or some 2 per cent of the country. 
Beentje's estimate of evergreen forest, as opposed to deciduous 
open forest or woodland, is 5856 sq. km (Beentje, 1990), vinually 
all of which is in Kenya's 206 gazetted forest reserves. These 
resen'es total 17,000 sq. km, but not all are forest or even wood- 
land, and some are plantation. Part of this closed forest resource 
is funher protected as nature reserves (526 sq. km), national 
reserves or national parks (less than 180 sq. km). The country's 
protected forest areas are listed in Table 17.2. 



Kaya Forests of the Kenyan Coast 

The Kaya forests of the Kenyan coast are relict patches of the 
once extensive and diverse Zanzibar-Inhambane lowland 
forests of eastern Africa. The word 'Kaya" means a homestead 
in several Bantu languages and historically these forest patches 
sheltered fortified villages or Kayas which were set up by the 
Mijikenda people who were fleeing from enemy groups in the 
north. During the last century, the villages moved outside the 
forest patches and Kayas have come to mean the forest patches 
which have survived and been protected by the traditions and 
customs of elders who used the old Kaya clearings for cere- 
monies. Over the past few decades an increasing disregard for 
traditional values and a decline in respect for the elders has led 
to damage to these small forests and associated sacred groves. 
All areas of unprotected forest and woodland in coastal Kenya 
are under extreme threat because of the rising population and an 
ever increasing need for more land on which to grow food and the 
demand for more building poles and fuelwood. The rapidly 
expanding tourist industry has also given rise to a demand for wood 
for hotel construction, furniture and carvings. This is met panly 
by tree poaching from gazetted forest resen-es, which are inade- 
quately protected by the overstretched and underfunded Forestn,' 
Department, and partly by unlicensed tree cutting in ungazetted 
areas. There are also serious threats from developing commercial 
activities such as lead ore mining at Kaya Kauma, marble quarry- 
ing at Pangani and Kambe, a proposed lime factory- at Pangani and 
the planned reopening of the rare earth mines on Mrima Hill. 



The Kayas and groves are often on hill tops protecting water 
catchments and they are also important as representative forest 
remnants supporting a diverse flora and often containing many 
rare plants. Those on Jurassic limestone outcrops are panicu- 
larly interesting: in one or two of these the endemic African vio- 
let Sainrpaulia rupicola is just sun.'iving. 

There has been increasing national and international concern 
over these forests, particularly as it became known that the \'illage 
elders were worried over their inability to care for their sacred 
places and sources of medicinal plants. The National Museums 
of Kenya (NMK) and WWF have supported studies of the Kayas. 
A survey carried out in 1986/7 listed about 35 Kayas and impor- 
tant sacred groves, the largest being no more than 1.5 sq. km, and 
information on a few more has been obtained since then. They 
occur in the two southern coastal districts, Kilifi and Kwale, scat- 
tered in the 30-40 km wide coastal stnp from lUst north of the 
Sabaki River and Malindi to the border with Tanzania. 

After some debate over whether the Kayas should be protected 
as National Monuments under NMK, involving the elders and 
the local community in their protection and rehabilitation, or 
whether they should be forest reserves, it was decided that the 
former is more appropriate. A few of the Kayas in Kwale District 
occur in existing forest reserves and are thus theoretically pro- 
tected, although legal and illegal tree cutting takes place. As a 
result, the elders are denied their traditional use of these Kayas. 
NMK will now be involved with the protection of these Kayas in 
Kwale District and donor funding is being sought to support this 
challenge in conser\'ation. Source: Anne Robertson 



152 



Eastern Africa 





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! 




■ 




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I 




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.V-.. 




fe^J^ 


'^^m 




_ -;^*- 






rii 






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l^^^^mvBP^^--^'^ ' 


■T"-^*^' '- 'ii^fll 
















SBHNkhMHh 




a^Mwt^-"'' 


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^^^^3Jm^^^D| 




HE^" <;.'.--i^'" 


'^m 






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H||B 




BKy^t||- ■■ ~W*---;__1 


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■■■ -i: •^-vr*^^'-.".'" >^ T.a^ftto 



rfe area ai.. Ill III .\Liii /..rcfl in Kenya is being cleared lo make a buffer zone of tea plantations, ll i'. li..[\J iliat this zvill stop further encroachment 
into the forest, seen on the left side of this photograph in the distance. C. Harcoun 



The forests depicted on Map 17.2 cover approximately 19,141 sq. 
km. The main source is a 1983 land-use map produced by the Kenya 
Rangeland Ecological iVlonitoring Unit. A degree of uncertainty was 
introduced by the difficulty in identifying plantation forests from the 
Landsat imagery used (Young, 1 984). The map and statistics are gen- 
erally considered to over-estimate the present extent of natural moist 
forest. Although the vegetation category Dense Natural Forest from 
the source map has been mapped on Map 17.2, more open forma- 
tions may also be included in this category. FAO estimated a total for 
closed and open broadleaved forest to be 19,450 sq. km in 1980. 

Biodiversity 

Many of Kenya's largest forested mountain blocks are of recent vol- 
canic origin and hence are relatively species poor (Rodgers and 
Homewood, 1982). Highest diversities are in the coastal forests, the 
western plateau forests such as Kakamega (Kokwaro, 1 988) and espe- 
cially the tiny, geologically older mountains at the northern end of the 
Eastern Arc of block mountains - the Taita and Taveta HiUs (Beentje, 
1988a). Table 17.7 summarises Kenya's biological diversity. 

The figures for numbers of species and endemism are very much 
lower than those for Tanzania, which has the bulk of the Eastern Arc 
forests (Lovett, 1988). Details of plant endemism are given by Brenan 
(1978) who highlights the importance of the coastal forests. Beentje 
(1988b) analysed the distribution of rare trees in Kenya. The distribu- 
tion and proportion of endemics are shown in Table 17.8 which again 
stresses the value of coastal and Eastern Arc forests for biodiversity. 



TTie Taita Hills have less than 3 sq. km of closed forest, rising to 
2200 m asl, but have 1 3 totally endemic plant species including four 
woody plants and one of the African violets, Saintpauha teitensis. There 
are three butterfly endemics; several reptiles, including Amblyodipsas 
teitana; some amphibia, e.g. Afrocaecilia teitana; and three or four bird 
species (depending on taxonomy), of which the Taita thrush Turdus 
helleriis one. The area has been documented recently (Beentje, 1 988a) 
and IS desperately in need of strong conservation programmes. 

Kakamega Forest is considered to be the easternmost outlier of the 
Guinea-Congolian forest, and has many species not found elsewhere 
in Kenya including L'Hoest's monkey Cercopithecus Ihoesti. Sixty-rwo 
birds are restricted to this area in Kenya. Turner's eremomela Eremomela 
tunieri and Chapin's flycatcher Muscicapa lendu are two globally threat- 
ened species (Collar and Stuart, 1985, 1988) which occur there. 
However, floristic diversity and endemism are relatively low. 

The coastal forests are diverse and not easy to classify. There 
are several endemics, and birds, mammals and plants all have thor- 
ough studies devoted to them. Collar and Stuan (1988) consider 
Sokoke the second most imponant forest for birds on continental 
Africa. Two bird species are endemic: the Sokoke scops owl Otus 
ireneae and Clarke's weaver Ploceus golandi and six species are rare 
or threatened. The golden-rumped elephant-shrew Rhynchocyon 
chrysopygus is an almost endemic small mammal. 

Other significant coastal areas are: the Shimba Hills, where there 
are wetter forests with endemic plants (e.g. Dichapetaluin fructuo- 
suin) and frogs (e.g. Afrixalus sylvaticus); the 'Kayas', which are 



Table 17.7 Biological diversity in Kenya 

Species Endemics 



Plants 

Mammals 

Birds 

Snakes 

Amphibia 

(Source: WCMC, 1<)88) 



6,500 
307 
860 
106 

97 



265 
8 
9 
4 

4 



Table 17.8 Distribution 


and number 


■of 


rare trees in Kenya 


and number of endemics 














Total 


no. 


of 


No. 


which are 


Area 


rare species 




endemic 


Coastal 


32 








12 


Taita Hills (Eastern Arc) 


10 








7 


Central Dry Forest 


9 








6 


Central Moist Forest 


3 








3 


Central Riverine 


5 








3 


Non-forest 


29 








2 



(SmiKc: Bccnlic 1 088b) 



153 



Eastern Africa 



"T^ 




SUDAN 




ETHIOPIA 




'W 




UGANDA V 



Kulal Forest 



Marsabit 



2°N 



•.. ^^v'i'vt'-^'"'*'' Turkana 



:^i. 



Njsolot , 

J ^ ■••■•■ 



Mount Elgon 
(4321m) /^•■•■^ Saiwa Swamp 
' Cherangani Raifge^ 



bamel 



,/Vrfotos Forest 



Valley ^'^"^i^iosai 



Lerogtii Forest 
Maralai''':V? 



iMattiews Fdrest 




SOMALIA 



Valley ^ Sambur^.^ ,^;.shaba 

-oresi Buffalo Spcings 

Ij^taJteBogoria Zp.-.vVSJsanadr:-':.:.-. Ra 




Rahole 



?(5200ra) 
• 4^?- ^rt, u^ L ' '.- /- v*->.,^-v -* North Kitui-;:^- Kora \- 

...ruma Westernt^-- ^^ 

W3U TrmMraXC'^p.c-y ■)' ) I""** 

HeM'sGate " Sy^betdares Forest 

r 01 Donyo Sabuk 



NAIROBI 



>k::-:7i:V South Kitui 



[;. Arawale 



^Tana River 
'•'frimate 





2°S 



Chyulu 



TANZANIA 



Amboseli 



Ngai 



••v??=??V^=/^SvJ^- Tsavo East 



Tsavo West..-:;'; 



34°E 



36°E 



^ 



';:::'• -//'"^MSP^l^Miii^ Arabul<o^okoi 

faM^st ° ^^W^ ^^^ftlvlalindi 
^Ivlsf 'yw/i' Arabuko Soko1(e 



Map 17.2 Kenya 



Rain Forest 

lowland 
montane ' 
mangtove 

Conservation areas 

existing 



Non Forest 

Taken from While(1983) 

1:5,000,000 










100 







50 




INDIAN 



4°S 



200 km 
miles 



Shimbaji,^/ Mombasa 
fo«s(fi*^Stiimba Hills 

o [fiahi Forest 



OCEAN 



40'E 



42°E 



154 



Eastern Africa 



Table 17.9 Conservation areas of Kenya 

Existing and proposed conservation areas are listed below. Forest reserves and marine parks are not included or mapped. For data on 
Biosphere reserves see chapter 9. 





Existing area Proposed area 




(sq. km) (sq. km) 


National Parks 




Aberdare* 


766 


Amboseli 


392 


Arabuko-Sokoke 


6 360' 


Central Island 


5 


Chyulu 


471 


Hell's Gate 


68 


Kora 


1,788 


Lake Nakuru 


188 


Longonot 


52 


Malka Marif 


876 


Meru 


870 


Mt Elgon* 


169 


Mt Kenya* 


715 


Nairobi 


117 


Ndere Islandf 


4 


OI Donyo Sabuk 


18 


Ruma 


120 


Saiwa Swamp 


2 


Sibiloi 


1,571 


South Island 


39 


Tsavo East 


11,747 


Tsavo West* 


9,065 


Nature Reserves 




Arabuko-Sokoke* 


43 


Cheptugen-Kapchemutwaf 


<1 


Kaimosi Forestf 


<1 


Kaptagat Forestf 


nd 


Karuraf 


1 


Katimok Kabametf 


1 


Langata 


1 


Mbololof 


nd 


Nandi Northf 


34 


South-Western Mau*' 


430 


Uaso Narokf 


16 



National Reserves 

Arawale 

Bisanadi 

Boni 

Buffalo Springs 

Dodori 

Kakamega* 

Kamnarokf 

Kerio Valley 

Lake Bogoria* 

Losai 

Marsabit*' 

Masai Mara 

Mwea 

Nasolot 

Ngai Ndethya 

North Kitui 

Rahole 

Samburu 

Shaba 

Shimba Hills* 

South Kitui 

South Turkana 

Tana River Primate 

Game Sanctuaries 
Maralai 

Totals 

{Sourcei: lUCN, 1990b; WCMC, ni Im.) 
* Area with moist forest within its 

boundaries according to Map 17.2.. 
t Not mapped - no spatial data available 
to this project. The percentage of forest 
included in protected areas cannot 
readily be calculated for Kenya. 
Although closed forest occurs in several 
protected areas, it is often restricted to 
tiny fragments within the total reserve or 
national park. 



Existing area 
(sq. km) 

533 

606 

1,339 

131 

877 

45 

88 

66 

107 

1,806 

2,088 

1,510 

68 

92 

212 

745 

1,270 

165 

239 

193 

1,833 

1,091 

169 



44,855 



Proposed area 
(sq. km) 



360 



nd no data 

' The 360 sq. km Arabuko-Sokoke Forest 
Reserve, encompassing the already 
existing nature reserve (43 sq. km) and 
national park (6 sq. km) is now under 
proposal for national park status. 
Area proposed as a national park. 
360 sq. km of the national reserve has 
been proposed as a national park. 



relict forests on limestone (see case study); and the coral rag coastal 
margin forests of Diani-Jadini, 

Lower Tana River forests have important primate habitats, with 
two endemic primate subspecies (Tana River red colobus 
Procolobus [badms] rufonutratus ntfomilratus and Tana River 
mangabey Cercocebus galeritus galentus), six rare bird species, and 
a near endemic poplar (Populus ilicifolia) (Collar and Stuan, 1988). 

Conservation Areas 

Kenya has an extensive protected area network (Table 17.9), 
mainly established for large mammal preservation; but several 
areas contain closed forests (see Table 17.2). The protected area 
legislation is complex, with several categories besides national 
park. Nature reserves are gazetted and administered by the Forest 
Department under the Forest Act and are usually areas within 
larger blocks of forest reserves, where exploitation is forbidden. 
National reserves may permit regulated uses such as grazing or 
fuelwood harvesting. lUCN (1987a) lists, in addition, game sanc- 
tuaries, reserves, sanctuaries, nature parks and Biosphere reserves. 
Key areas for protecting forest diversity are mainly the nature 
reserves, especially Arabuko-Sokoke, South-Western Mau and 



Nandi and a few of the national reserves, such as Boni, Marsabit, 
Kakamega and Shimba Hills. The Aberdares, Mt Kenya and Mt 
Elgon national parks have some forest areas. Park status is immi- 
nent for Kakamega and Arabuko-Sokoke but doubt exists as to 
whether all key areas will be included in these parks. 

Recent (mid- 1991) initiatives between Kenya Wildlife Services 
(which administers the national parks) and the Kenya Forest 
Department will allow for joint management of forest areas con- 
sidered of conservation importance, for instance the Aberdares. 
British Aid is making an inventory of key forest areas for biodiver- 
sity and preparing conservation management plans. 

There are still many gaps; several key forests and vegetation 
types have only reserve forest or trust forest status. This is the case 
for Taita, Kulal and Kerio riverine forest, Diani and other patches 
of coastal forest, Cherangani and most of Mt Kenya. The Taita 
Hills may become a World Heritage site, although this in itself will 
not provide sufficient protection. In addition, the sacred Kaya 
forests (see case study) are to be given legal national monument 
status. lUCN (1987b) and Stuart et al. (1990) present general 
overviews but a more comprehensive study of forest conservation 
priorities is urgently needed. 



155 



Eastern Africa 



Tanzania 

Tanzania is rich in vegetation types, including lowland inland and 
coastal mosaic forests, swamp forest, extensive montane forests and 
mangroves. The mangroves are the most extensive in the region, 
principally on the Rufiji Delta, but also at Tanga, Kilwa and on east- 
em Zanzibar and Mafia islands. The most significant forests are the 
montane rain forests which lie in an arc in the east of the country, 
stretching from the Pare and Usambara Mountains in the north to the 
Southern Highlands (see Map 17.3). Apart from the recent volcanic 
extrusions of Kilimanjaro, Mt Meru and Ngorongoro, most of these 
hills are ancient, and thus of exceptional value and biological richness. 
Swamp forest occurs on the Tanzania-Uganda border, the main 
location being Minziro Forest Reserve, with 250 sq. km. This is an 
important site for primates and birds as well as for plants. Guineo- 
Congolian rain forest is now very restricted. Rubondo Island 
National Park in Lake Victoria has 180 sq. km of little disturbed 
forest, while Gombe National Park on the shores of Lake 
Tanganyika has several small forest patches with some affinity to 
those of Zaire and Burundi. The coastal mosaic forests are exten- 
sive, variable and very important biologically, but are now greatly 
depleted, fragmented and degraded. 



Table 17.10 Conservation areas of Tanzania 



Existing and proposed protected areas are listed below. Forest reserves 


and marine reserves are nor included. For data 


on World Heritage 


sites and Biosphere reserves see chapter 9. 






Existing area 


Proposed area 


National Parks 


(sq. km) 


(sq. km) 


Arusha* 


137 




Gombe 


52 




Katavi 


2,253 




Kilimanjaro* 


756 




Lake Manyara 


320 




Mahale Mountain 


1,613 




Mikumi* 


3,230 




Ruaha* 


12,950 




Rubondo* 


457 




Sert-ngeti 


14,763 




Tarangire 


2,600 




Uzungwa 




1,000 


Game Reseri'es 






Biharamulo 


1,300 




Burigi 


2,200 




Ibanda 


200 




Kilimanjaro* 


890 




Kizigo 


4,000 




Maswa 


2,200 




Mkomazi 


1,000 




Mt Meru* 


300 




Moyowosi 


6,000 




Rumanyika 


800 




Rungwa 


9,000 




Sadani 


300 




Selous* 


50,000 




Ugalla 


5,000 




Umba 


1,500 




Uwanda 


5,000 




Conservation Areas 






Ngorongoro* 


8,288 




Unclassified 






Mafia Islands* 


nd 





Totals 



137,109 



1,000 



* Area with moisl forest within its boundanes. Moist forests occur only as small 
fragments within these protected areas. 
(Soiira-j. lUCN, IQQOb; WCMC, m Im.) 



Estimates of closed forest vary considerably. Kessy (1982 in 
Rodgers et at., 1985) suggested 9360 sq. km; FAO (1988) reported 
14,400 sq. km and Rodgers et at. (1985) estimated a higher figure 
of 16,185 sq. km of natural closed high forest. This is about 1.5 per 
cent of Tanzania's land area. The legal forest reserves cover some 
1 33,500 sq. km, but of this only 9519 sq. km is high forest and a fur- 
ther 800 sq. km is mangrove. Map 17.3 shows about 1975 sq. km 
of mangrove, 4990 sq. km of montane forest and 1 1,140 sq. km of 
lowland forest, giving a total of 18,105 sq. km of moist forest in the 
country. However, due to the outdated maps and somewhat sketchy 
information available these figures are not considered reliable and 
have not been quoted at the head of this chapter. 

Forest reserves are classified as 'production' forest and 'protec- 
tive' forest; the latter is estimated as 1 6,000 sq. km including grass- 
land and woodland, and is of importance for water catchment pro- 
tection. There are 1 15,000 sq. km of production forest, most of it 
miombo woodland; and 7100 sq. km of plantation, most of which 
is softwood, used in industry or for fuelwood. There are still large 
areas of forest outside the forest reserves. Some are in the game 
reserve category, like the Selous Game Reserve, but large areas 
such as the Kichi-Matumbi Hills near the Rufiji Delta are not pro- 
tected at all. The national parks include little forest (see Table 
17.2). In addition to the high forest, Rodgers el al. (1985) map 
some 2868 sq. km of 'itigi' thicket m central Tanzania and 2145 
sq. km of coastal thicket (these thicket formations are not mapped 
in Map 17.3). Both are outside the formal reserve network. 

Most forest has been exploited to some degree in the recent past. 
'Protection' or 'Catchment' status is ill-defined and can readily be 
changed by the Forestry Division. The biologically rich forests of 
the East Usambara Mountains were heavily exploited using unsuit- 
able machinery in the early 1980s. This caused considerable per- 
manent ecological damage including total deforestation of some 
sites (Hamilton and Bensted-Smith, 1989; Rodgers, in press). In 
some areas, intensive pitsawing has replaced mechanical logging. 
Economic problems and a weak forest service have led to a relax- 
ation in the regulation of forest exploitation (FAO, 1989; Rodgers, 
in press). Encroachment, illegal harvesting and burning are all 
major problems. In 1988, the national wood-based industry con- 
sumed some 730,000 cu. m of logs, over 70 per cent of which were 
supplied by softwood plantations. The output from closed natural 
forests, however, exceeds regrowth and is affecting water catch- 
ment function (Mbwana in Rodgers, in press). The demand for 
fuelwood is by far the greatest drain on forest resources, annual 
consumption being about 25 million cu. m for domestic supply 
and 5 million cu. m for commercial use. Most comes from the 
woodland areas, but natural forests are heavily exploited, 
especially in the poorly protected lowland areas. 

There are no reliable figures for deforestation in the closed for- 
est areas. FAO (1988a) estimated an annual deforestation rate of 
closed moist forest of 100 sq. km from 1981-5, but nationally, 
deforestation is thought to exceed 4000 sq. km per year; desertifi- 
cation is a recognised consequence in the drier regions of north 
Tanzania (Tanzania Forest Division, Daily News 30/10/1989). 

Biodiversity 

Tanzania has long been acknowledged as one of the most important 
nations in Africa for conservation. However, in continental African 
terms, Tanzania is an extremely important nation for forest bio- 
diversity: an overview is given in Stuart et al. (1990). The geographical 
and historical reasons for this are explained in Rodgers and Home- 
wood (1982), Hamilton (1989) and Lovett and Wasser (in press). 

Brenan (1978) estimated that 1 100 plant species are endemic, 
10 per cent of the flora in Tanzania (compare this with the 30 



156 



Eastern Africa 



Forest Conservation in the Usambara Mountains 



The chain of mountains in Eastern Tanzania, known as the 
Eastern Arc has existed since the Oligocene, 100 million years 
ago. The mountains have been forested for much of this period 
and at least in their recent history have been isolated from the 
Guineo-Congolian rain forests. Forests on the Eastern Arc 
mountains persisted through the periods of dry climate associ- 
ated with the Pleistocene glaciations. The persistence of these 
forests through this long period of isolation has resulted in the 
evolution of a highly endemic flora. Of the 2000 species of plants 
known from the Eastern Arc mountains, 25-30 per cent are 
endemic. The forests are also the home to several endemic mam- 
mals, birds, reptiles and a remarkably large number of amphib- 
ians. One of the most extensive areas of forest now remaining in 
the Eastern Arc mountains, is on the East Usambaras mountains 
in Tanga region in northern Tanzania. At least 100 species of 
plants are strict endemics to the Usambaras and the forests are 
noteworthy for several rare and near endemic species of birds. 
Collar and Stuan (1985) list six threatened and three near-threat- 
ened bird species from the area. 

Much of the forest was cleared in colonial time, first for cof- 
fee and later for tea cultivation. Migrant workers were brought 
to the area from various pans of East Africa to work on the 
estates. Recently the tea estates have suffered from poor man- 
agement. Many people have abandoned work on them and have 
cleared forest land to practise low-grade agriculture. A panicu- 
lar problem has come with the growing of cardamon. The 
ground storey of the forest is cleared to cultivate the cardamon 
under the canopy. This cultivation prevents regeneration of the 
forest trees and when, after seven or eight years, the yields of 
the cardamon begin to decline the people clear the canopy trees 
to plant maize, sugar cane and manioc. Large areas of forest are 
being destroyed in this way. Further problems have come from 
pitsawyers who illegally cut timber in the forests for sale, both 
in nearby markets and across the border in Kenya. Industrial 
logging in the forest was stopped when it became clear that the 
logging was unsustainable. However, the past few years have 
seen a tremendous increase in legal and illegal pitsawing, which 
has exceeded industrial output. Furthermore, Tanzania's 
economic decline has led to decreased forest management 
capability. 

Since 1986 an lUCN/EEC project in the Usambaras has 
attempted to give more effective protection to the forest while 
helping the local people to develop agricultural systems which 



will be less destructive. The project is based on consultation 
with local communities. A locally recruited staff member is 
assigned to a village in the East Usambaras to encourage the 
formation of a village development committee. Through the vil- 
lage coordinators the project is able to engage in a dialogue with 
the villagers, both to ascenain their needs and aspirations and 
to explain the long-term environmental problems that will result 
if the forests are lost. The village committees are encouraged to 
develop their own solutions to the problem, and if these ideas 
are thought to be viable, support is available to help implement 
them, through the provision of agricultural tools, tree seeds and 
seedlings and help in transporting building materials and agri- 
cultural produce. 

Attempts have been made to bring pitsawing of timber under 
proper control. The intention was to license villagers to pitsaw 
timber in forests adjacent to their village land. So far the diffi- 
culties in preventing outsiders from logging the forests have 
been so great that it has been found necessary to put a total ban 
on all timber extraction. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that the 
forest could support a moderate yield of valuable timber - much 
in demand in local towns - and this could provide an incentive 
to the villagers to maintain forest areas. In its first three years of 
operation the villagers working with the project have planted 
boundary strips around the forest reserves and 30 ha of com- 
munal plantations. Central and village tree nurseries have been 
established. The project has helped villagers put in contour 
strips on a thousand farms. More importandy there have been 
changes in the attitudes of the farmers, who are adopting con- 
tour terracing on a wide scale and planting cloves, pepper and 
coffee as a source of cash. The forests of the East Usambaras 
are still very much under threat. The number of people in the 
area is simply too great for the land resources available. 
However, by working with the villagers, the project has made 
them much more sensitive to conservation problems. 

A new FINNIDA project to strengthen forest management is 
to be coordinated with the lUCN/EEC initiatives. This new pro- 
ject recognises the importance of forest for water catchment and 
biodiversity as well as village level resource exploitation. TTie 
problems of an inadequate research base for the fragmented for- 
est resource is of concern both for monitoring biological values 
and improving management. The project will consider higher 
conservadon status, including forest parks and Biosphere reserves 
for these excepdonally valuable forests. Source: Jeff Sayer 



species or 0.3 per cent in Uganda). More than 93 per cent of the 
endemics are from the mountains of the Eastern Arc. It is proba- 
ble that some 25 per cent of Tanzania's forest species are endemic. 
Some plantgroups are especially rich in endemics: the 
Annonaceae, Caesalpiniaceae and Rubiaceae are three outstand- 
ing examples. 

Forest loss and fragmentation has often led to the concentration 
of endemic species in very restricted areas. Kimboza Forest Reserve 
of 4 sq. km has 17 endemic plant taxa including six tree species, of 
which Baphia pauloi is one. Magombera Forest Reserve, now less 
than 8 sq. km and included in the Selous Game Reserve, has three 
endemic species, including Polyatthia verdcourti. TTie Rondo forests 
in south-east Tanzania have at least ten endemic species. 

Diversity and endemism within animal taxa is well documented: 
for mammals by Kingdon (1990), for birds by Stuart (1985) and 
for a variety of other taxa in Rodgers and Homewood (1982) and 



Lovett and Wasser (in press). The Uzungwas have two endemic 
primates - Gordon's red colobus Procolobus [badius] gordonorum 
and the Sanje mangabey Cercocebus galeritus sanjei. lUCN's 
Primate Action Plan recommends an increased conservation effort 
in this area (Oates, 1985). The Eastern Arc mountains are a major 
centre of endemism for birds, with 14 endemic species, many con- 
fined to small forest blocks. The Usambaras have two strict 
endemics, the Ulugurus two and the Uzungwas one. 

Conservation Areas 

Tanzania has 1 1 national parks, a conservation area, and 16 game 
reserves (Table 17.10) as well as an extensive forest reserve net- 
work. Most parks and game reserves were established for large 
mammals or, as in the case of Kilimanjaro National Park, excep- 
tional landscapes. As a result few of them contain closed forest. 
Exceptions are given in Table 17.2. 



157 



Eastern Africa 




158 



Eastern Africa 



Forest reserve status does not offer an adequate level of protection 
for biodiversity . Biological resources of such international importance 
demand the highest conservation status legally available. At present, 
however, the National Parks Authority, which has a major task man- 
aging and funding existing parks, is not keen to acquire new closed 
forest areas, while the Forest Division is not keen to lose more areas. 
A new legal category of forest national park, or an arrangement 
whereby forest areas can be legally created as parks but managed by 
the Forest Division, needs to be developed. 

The 1 000 sq. km Uzungwa National Park may soon be gazetted. Lake 
Manyara National Park may be extended to include the Marang Forest 
and Kilimanjaro National Park may take in more of the lower forest 
areas. Zanzibar is considering national park stams for Jozani Forest and 
parts of Ngezi Forest. Major decisions need to be taken over the higher 
forests on the Uluguru Mountains, which are of crucial catchment and 
biological value and are compact and not heavily affected by settlement 
pressure. More difficult is the case of the fragmented forest patches of 
the East Usambaras (see Hamilton and Bensted-Smith, 1 989 for details, 
and case study) . However, there is no reason why the key patches can- 
not be given total protection and managed by the Forest Department, 
thus forming the core area of a larger Man and the Biosphere (MAB) 
reserve. Further protected areas are needed for patches of itigi thicket, 
coastal forest, high altitude forest and grassland mosaics in the Mporoto 
and Livingstone Mountains and for Minziro Forest. 



Conclusion 

This brief account of eastern Africa's closed forests has docu- 
mented four major facts: 

• The small and still decreasing extent of natural closed forests. 

• The great variety of forests with high internal diversity and 
endemism. 

• The total inadequacy of the existing national park network for 
conserving forests, and the need for more parks. 

• African countries are only now realising the significant role of 
closed forests in many development sectors, not only for timber 
and biological resources, but also for sustaining water, soils, 
climate, energy, industry and agriculture. 

The problem of how to incorporate forests within the pro- 
tected area network has not been solved. Many forest areas are 
at risk even within the protected area system as management is 
either inadequate (e.g. Kakamega in Kenya) or lacking altogether 
(e.g. Day National Park in Djibouti). Forests must be conserved 
through integrated programmes addressing issues of catchment 
policy, sustainable development for local people, levels of 
permissible exploitation and protection of biodiversity. While 
protected area managers have learned to deal with some of the 
threats facing savanna and large mammal ecosystems, these 
problems have not been addressed in forests, and this needs to 
be rectified. 



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conservation of arabica coffee pools. In: Proceedings of 12th Pleiiaiy 

Meeting of AETFAT. Peters, C. R. and Lejoly, J. (eds). Vol. 23 

A/B, Mitteilungen aus dem Institut fur allgemeine Botanik in 

Hamburg. 
FAO ( 1 988a) An Interim Report on the State of Forest Resources in the 

Developing Countries. FAO, Rome, Italy. 1 8 pp. 



FAO (1988b) Report of the Mission to Ethiopia on Tropical Forestry 

Action Plan. July 1988. FAO, Rome, Italy. 
FAO (1989) Tropical Forestiy Action Plan. United Republic of 

Tanzania. FAO, Rome, Italy. 
FAO (1991) FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 1978-1989. FAO 

Forestry Series No. 24 and FAO Statistics Series No. 97. FAO, 

Rome, Italy. 
FAO/UNEP (1981) Tropical Forest Resources Assessment Project. 

Forest Resources of Tropical Africa. Part II: Country Bnefs. FAO, 

Rome, Italy. 
Friis, I. (1982) Studies in the flora and vegetation of south-west 

Ethiopia. Opera Botanica 6S: 1-76. 
Friis, I. and Tadesse, M. (1988) The Evergreen Forests of Tropical 

North East Africa. In: Floristic Inventoiy of Tropical Countries, pp. 

218-31. Campbell, D. G. and Hammond, H. D. (eds). Science 

Publishing Department, New York Botanical Gardens, New- 
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Hallsworth, E. G. (1982) Socio-economic Effects and Constraints in 

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Ecosystems, pp. 1 55-82. Lieth, H. and Werger, M. J. A. (eds). Vol. 

14B of 'Ecosystems of the World'. Springer Verlag. 
Hamilton, A. C. and Bensted-Smith, R. (eds) (1989) Forest 

Conservation in the East Usambara Moiintams, Tanzania. lUCN, 

Gland, Switzerland and Cambndge, UK. 392 pp. 
Hamilton, A. C. and Perrott, R. A. (1981) A study of altitudinal 

zonation in the montane forest belt of Mount Elgon. Vegetalio 45: 

107-25. 
Hillman, J. C. (1985) Seminar on Wildlife Conservation and 

Management in the Sudan. Topic III: Wildlife Research in Relation 

to Conservation and Management. Deutsche Gesellschaft fur 

technische Zusammenarbeit. 
lUCN (1987a) lUCN Directoiy of Afrotropical Protected Areas. 

lUCN, Gland, Switzeriand and Cambridge, UK. xix + 1043 pp. 
lUCN (1987b) Action Strategy for Protected Areas in the Afrotropical 

Realm. CNPPA. lUCN, Gland, Switzeriand. 



159 



Eastern Africa 

lUCN (1989) The lUCN Sahel Studies. lUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland. 
lUCN (1990a) Ethiopia National Conservation Strategy Phase One. 

March 1990, Gland, Switzerland. 
lUCN (1990b) 1990 United Nations List of National Parks and 

Protected Areas. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 

275 pp. 
Jackson, J. K. (1956) The vegetation of the Imatong Mts, Sudan. 

Journal of Ecology 44(2): 341-74. 
Jenkins, R. N. et al. (1977) Forest Development Prospects in Imatong 

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Kingdon, J. (1990) Island Africa. Collins, London, UK. 
Kokwaro, J. O. ( 1 988) Conservation status of the Kakamega Forest 

in Kenya. Monograph Systetnatic Botany Missouri Botanic Gardens 

25:471-89. 
Lind, E. M. and Morrison, M. (1974) Vegetation of East Africa. 

Longmans, Nairobi, Kenya. 
Lovert, J. C. (1988) Tanzania. In; Fhnstic Inventory of Tropical 

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(eds). Science Publishing Department, New York Botanical 

Gardens, New York, USA. 
Lovett, J. C. and Wasser, S. (in press) Ecology and Biogeography of 

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Cambridge, UK. 
MacKinnon, J. and MacKinnon, K. (1986) Revieiv of the Protected 

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Switzerland. 259 pp. 
Madgwick, J. (1989) Somalia's threatened forests. Oryx 23(2): 

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Parker, T. (1987) Report on an Aenal Reconnaissance of Current and 

Potential Reserves in Southern and Central Somalia. WWF and 

Somalia Ecological Society. 
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Pohjonen, V. and Pukkala, T. (1990) Eucalyptus globulus in 

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Flonstic Inventory of Tropical Countries, pp. 218-31. Campbell, D. 

G. and Hammond, H. D. (eds). Science Publishing Department, 

New York Botanical Gardens, New York, USA. 
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of Eastern Africa: Past influences, present practices and future 

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Africa. Lovett, J. and Wasser, S. (eds). Cambridge University 

Press, Cambridge, UK. 
Rodgers, W. A. and Homewood, K. M. (1982) Species richness 

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Journal of the Linnean Society 18: 197-242. 
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of forest cover in Tanzania using satellite imagery. Institute of 

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Wildlife Resources Management. UNDP/FAO, Rome, Italy. 
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4. ICBP, Cambridge, UK. 
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Suh-Saharan Africa and its Islands: iConservation, Management and 



Sustainable Use. lUCN, Cambridge, UK and Gland, Switzerland. 
WCMC (1988) Kenya. Conservation of Biological Diversity. World 

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Unesco, Pans, France. 356 pp. 
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its geographical afiinities. Kew Bulletin, Additional Series V: 1 -368. 
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Young, T. P. (1984) Kenya's Indigenous Foresa. Status, Tlireats and Prospects 

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Authorship 

Alan Rodgers, Cambridge with contributions from Anne 
Robenson, National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and Jeff Sayer, 
lUCN. 



Map 17.1 Forest cover in Ethiopia 

Data on the e.\tent of natural closed forest in Ethiopia were taken from Nanonal 
Alias of Ethiopia (1*)88) compiled by the Ethiopian Mapping Authonty, Addis 
Ababa. The High Forest category from the eight land use categories shown, was 
mapped to depict montane rain forest on Map 17.1. Mangroves for Ethiopia 
are not shown in this Atlas as data are unavailable. Conservation areas have 
been extracted from various sources on file at ^X'CMC. 

Map 17.2 Forest cover in Kenya 

A detailed Land Use Map of Kenya was published in 1983 by the Kenya 
Rangeiand Ecological Monitoring Unit (KREMU), Ministry of Environment 
and Natural Resources, at a scale of 1 : 1 million. This shows 32 land use classes, 
one of which has been mapped to produce the forest cover shown on Map 17.2, 
namely, Dense Statural Forest. The source map was compiled from remote sensed 
data of 1 972-80 by KJU^MU, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. 
Mangroves are not depicted on this map and have, therefore, not been shown 
on Map 17.2. More recent satellite imagery from between 1986 and 1989 will 
be published by KREMU but was unavailable for this project. More recent and 
detailed information is available for south-western Kenya from I'egelalion and 
Climate Maps of SW Kenya (1987), produced at a 1:250,000 scale, complied 
by C. G. Trapnell and M. A. Brunt for the Land Resources Development 
Centre, Overseas Development .Administration but, as these maps do not cover 
the whole country, they were not used m this Atlas. 

Protected areas for Kenya have been selected from a topographical map 
Kenya (nd), at a scale of 1:1,250,000 published by Bartholomew & Son. 

Map 17.3 Forest cover in Tanzania 

Forest cover data for Tanzania have been taken from a number of sources. 
Dense closed moist forests, not including mangro\'e, have been extracted from 
a 1:2 million scale map Forest Cover in Tanzania which accompanies a repon 
evaluating the extent of forest cover in Tanzania using 1973-9 satellite imagery 
(Rodgers et al., 1985). The distribution of five vegetation types have been 
demarcated on this source map. Only the Natural Forest category is shown on 
Map 17.3. Mangrtive forests were not included in this survey and coastal and 
uigi thteker (thicket formations) have not been mapped. Forest cover was then 
overlain with White's vegetation types. An attempt has been made to map the 
mangrove formations from various sketch and topographical maps, but no pre- 
cise data were available. Location of mangroves illustrated on a 1:1 million 
ONC map (M-5 [ 1 969] and N-5 [1973]) were used as a guide and then updated 
with reference to Banyikwa (1986) and a map of forest reserves (WCMC, m 
Int.). Reference has also been made to a 1:2 million scale map Tanzania 
Vegetation Cover Types (1974), prepared by the Forest Division, Ministry of 
Lands, Natural Resources and Tounsm, Dar es Salaam. 

The system of protected areas for Tanzania has been extracted from a map 
published by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism at a scale of 1:2 
million 'Tanzania (1974). 



160 



18 Equatorial 
Guinea 



Land orea 28,050 sq km 

Population (mid- 1990) 400,000 

Populotion growth role in 1990 2 6peKent 

Population projected to 2020 800,000 

Gross national product per capita (1988) USS3S0 

Rain lorest including degraded forest (see map) 1 7,004 sq km 

Closed broodleaved lorest (end 1 980)* 1 2,950 sq km 

Annual deforestation rote (1981-5)' 30sq km 

Industrial roundwood productiont 1 60,000 (u. m 

Industrial roundwood exports! 1 20,000 (u. m 

Fuelwood and charcoal productiont 447,000 cu m 

Processed wood productiont 61 ,000 cu m 

Processed wood exportst 1 3,000 cu m 

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Equatorial Guinea, the only Spanish-speaking nation in sub-Saharan Africa, is one of the least developed countries on the 
continent. In the eariy years of this century it was very prosperous as a result of its flourishing cacao and coffee trade, but it 
now faces severe economic difficulties. Forestry is now a major contributor to the economy. The country has few other nat- 
ural resources and industry is insignificant. Timber is seen as a panacea and commercial logging is likely to extend into all of 
the country's remaining primary forest in the next two decades (Fa, 1988; UICN, 1991). Extraction rates will increase and, 
since the forest management capacity of the government is weak, there are fears that serious degradation of the forest may fol- 
low (Castroviejo er al, 1986; UICN, 1991). About 78 per cent of the population are rural and the demand for agricultural 
land in much of the country will exert pressure on forests opened up by logging (Castroviejo el al, 1986; Fa, 1988). 

In 1986 Castroviejo and a team supported by Spanish development aid proposed the establishment of several protected 
areas, both on the mainland and on the islands. These proposals have now been adopted by the government but little 
progress has been made in implementing them. The richness of Equatorial Guinea's flora and fauna makes the effective 
management of these areas an urgent priority. 



Introduction 

Equatorial Guinea consists of the small mainland territory of Rio 
Muni on the coast of West Africa and several islands in the Gulf 
of Guinea. The most important of the islands are Bioko (formerly 
Fernando Poo) and Annobon (formerly Pagalu). Rio Muni, with 
a land area of 26,000 sq. km, is bordered by Gabon to the south 
and east and by Cameroon to the north. Its relief is complex: the 
land rises from the coastal plain through a series of stepped table- 
lands into the interior, where there are a number of granitic insel- 
bergs. The highest mountains reach 1250 m above sea level. 

Bioko, 2017 sq. km in area and lying only 32 km from Africa's 
coast, is of volcanic origin but was connected to the mainland in 
the recent past (10,000-1 1,000 years ago) when sea levels were 
lower. It has a rugged topography, dominated by two mountain 
masses. In the north, Pico Basile is the main feature, reaching a 
height of 301 1 m, while the southern third of the island consists of 
a jagged plateau where the two highest peaks are Pico Biao at 
2009 m and the Gran Caldera de Luba at 2261 m. The plateau 
falls steeply to the sea on the southem coast. Around much of the 
rest of the coast there is a relatively flat belt of land stretching about 
two kilometres inland. 

Annobon is a much smaller (17 sq. km) volcanic island lying 
340 km from the mainland. It has always been isolated from the 
continent and also from the islands of Sao Tome and Principe, 
which lie between it and Bioko. It rises precipitously from the sea 
to several distinct peaks, the highest of which is 6 1 3 m (Castro and 
Calle, 1985). 

Bioko has a typically equatorial climate, with a mean annual 
temperature of around 25°C (maximum in February of 26.2°C and 
a minimum in September of 24°C), high humidity and an enor- 



mous rainfall. The southern coast of Bioko, with a mean annual 
precipitation of 10,900 mm, is one of the wettest places in the 
world; on the north coast, this falls to a mean of 1930 mm. The 
wet season is from April to October. Rio Muni's climate is similar, 
although mean annual precipitation is considerably less, between 
1800 and 3800 mm, most of which falls between September and 
December, Annobon, too, has less rain than Bioko, about 1016 
mm per year falling mainly from November to April (Fry, 1961). 
Temperatures during the day at this time are between 19.5°C and 
30.5°C. 

The population on the mainland portion of Equatorial Guinea 
is predominantly rural, with only about 18 per cent of the people 
in the capital, Bata. Rural population densities are relatively high 
(more than ten inhabitants per sq. km) in some regions such as the 
Ebebiyin, Micomeseng and Mongomo (Castroviejo el al, 1986; 
UICN, 1991). However, a large ponion of Rio Muni is still unpop- 
ulated, with less than five individuals per sq. km in more than half 
the country (e.g. in the Evinayong, Acurenam and Nsoc regions). 
A census in 1983 recorded 230,000 inhabitants, an increase of 72 
per cent from 1932. On Bioko, meanwhile, the 1983 census 
revealed 59,196 people, approximately the same as in 1969. It is 
estimated that the island lost 30-50 per cent of its people after inde- 
pendence under the murderous regime of Macias Nguema. Many 
were executed or fled the countr>' during the ten years (1969-79) 
when Bioko suffered under one the world's most destructive dic- 
tatorships. More than 60 per cent of the population are based in 
and around the capital cit\' of Malabo, another 13,000 or so live 
in the towns of Baney, Rebola, Luba and Riaba, while most of the 
remainder live along the east, nonh and west coasts (Butynski and 



161 



Equatorial Guinea 




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Koster, 1989a). About half of Bioko is uninhabited. Finally, on 
Annobon, the population of approximately 1500 is concentrated 
in the only town of San Antonio de Pale; the number of inhabi- 
tants here has remained largely unchanged from the figure reported 
early this century (Harrison, 1990). 

The Forests 

Tropical rain forest is found a few kilometres inland from the coast 
in Rio Muni and it still covers most of the country (Alers and Blom, 
1988). Before the forest is reached, there are Tcrtuinalia and palm 
trees along the coast and then a belt of savanna no more than 2 km 
wide. The forest canopy reaches a height of 35-40 m with emer- 
gents as tall as 70 m. Floristic composition is vanable depending 
on soil conditions and exposure, but around 70-80 common tree 
species are typical. The most abundant of these are abina 
Petersianthus macrocarpus, ilomba Pycnanthus angolensis, okoume 
Aucoumea klaineana, dahoma Pipiadeniasinmi africanwn, ebe 
Pentachthra macrophylla and tali Eyythrophleum ivorense. 

Guinea (1946) distinguished four vegetation formations in Rio 
Muni: one in the Utamboni basin and the Evinayong- 
Acurenam-Nsoc corridor with floristic affinities with Gabon's 
forests; another in the Rio Ntem-Ebebiyin corridor similar 
to southern Cameroonian coastal forests; a third, a flooded 
formation, in the north-east in the Bimvile basin and Abia and 
the fourth, the coastal forests between Utonde, Punta Mbonda 
and Pemba. 

Maps by Guinea (1968) and by Ocaiia Garcia (1962) show 
that, from sea level to 800 m, the major vegetation type on Bioko 
was lowland rain forest. However, much of this has been cut and 
the land planted with cacao so now patches of primary forest 
remain only between 600 and 800 m. These are mainly on Pico 
Basile and in the southern third of the island (Butynski and 
Koster, 1989a). Montane rain forest is found at altitudes between 
800 m and 1400 m. Approximately 19 per cent (393 sq. km) of 
the island was originally covered with this vegetation, and now 
there are two separate rings of it, one round Pico Basile and one 
round the Southern Highlands (Butynski and Koster, 1989a). 
Higher up (1400-2600 m), there is Schefflera forest, scrub and 
ultimately subalpine and alpine meadows on the summits of 
Bioko's volcanoes. The decline of the cacao plantations from a 
peak of 410 sq. km to the present 46 sq. km of cultivation (World 
Bank, 1985) has meant that considerable secondary vegetation is 
regenerating on the island (Butynski and Koster, 1989a). The 
rich soils and abundant rainfall are particularly favourable to 
cacao and many of the old plantations are now being rehabili- 
tated. After timber, cacao is likely to be the next highest foreign 
exchange earner for the country. 

On the island of Annobon, moist forest (similar in composition 
to the mist forests on Principe) is found only above an altitude of 
500 m (Exell, 1952/3). Some of the principal species are: Agelaea 
spp., Cassipourea annobonernis, Craterispennum inoiitanum, Heisteria 
parviflora, Rubus pinnalus, Schefflera inannii, Strotiibosia sp., Pavetta 
montkola, Discoclaoxylon occidenlate and Ficus darencetisis. There is 
a profuse development of epiphytes in this forest. 

Mangroves 

The extensive development of mangroves is confined to three estu- 
aries in mainland Equatorial Guinea (Hughes and Hughes, 1 99 1 ). 
Mangrove stands begin I km up the estuary of the Ntem River and 
extend inland for a distance of 1 5 km in belts 500-2500 m wide. 
Here tidal forests have an area of 18 sq. km. Other small patches 
of mangroves occur at the mouth of the Mbia River (1.5 sq. km) 
and the Ekuko River (10 sq. km). There are four major blocks of 



mangroves in the Mbini estuary, of about 53 sq. km in total, while 
the other major area for mangroves is the Muni estuary. Here they 
extend from just inside the mouth to the head of the estuary, 17 
km inland, and up the tributary rivers. The tidal forests there 
occupy about 65 sq. km and there are also some extensive patches 
of swamp forest in the area. Map 1 8. 1 shows 257 sq. km of man- 
grove remaining around the coastline of Rio Muni. 

Bioko has only a few small patches of mangroves on its coast. 
The mangroves have suffered little degradation although tradi- 
tionally they have been exploited for firewood and building 
materials. 

Forest Resources and Management 

Lepitre et at. (1988) estimated that approximately 59 per cent of 
Rio Muni is still covered by relatively intact forest. Most of the pris- 
tine primary forest is located in the Centre-South province, while 
the Litoral province has a large expanse of secondary forest. No 
good vegetation map of Equatorial Guinea is available; the one 
used to generate the forest cover of Rio Mum shown on Map 18.1 
was produced in 1960. The source map (see Map Legend on 
p. 167) distinguished between bosque claw and bosque dense and on 
Map 18. 1 the former is shown as degraded forest. Table 18.1 gives 
areas, measured from Map 18.1, for the different forest types in 
Rio Muni and Bioko together. The map shows 7704 sq. km of 
dense rain forest and 7945 sq. km of the open (degraded) rain for- 
est on the mainland as well as 257 sq. km of mangroves, which 
gives a total forest cover of 1 5,906 sq. km or 6 1 per cent of the land 
area of Rio Muni. 

Butynski and Koster (1989a) give a detailed breakdown of the 
forest cover remaining on Bioko. There are 572'sq. km (28 per 
cent) of lowland rain forest, 375 sq. km (19 per cent) of montane 
forest, 202 sq. km (10 per cent) oi Schefflera forest and another 388 
sq. km (19 per cent) of secondary forest. The vegetation cover in 
Bioko shown on Map 18.1 has been taken from a map within 
Butynski and Koster's (1989a) report and, as expected, the rain 
forest cover measured from it is similar to that given above. It shows 
552 sq. km of lowland rainforest and 546 sq. km of montane for- 
est (no distinction has been made between the Schefflera forest and 
the lower montane forest). 

There are no data for the extent of the forests remaining on 
Annobon, but they cannot be extensive; they are mostly in the 
south of the island (Harrison, 1990). 

At present there is no management framework for the forests of 
Equatorial Guinea. Three ordinances relate to natural resources: 
a forestry law enacted on 1 5 January 1985 for the protection of for- 
est products and the regulation of their use; another, enacted in 
1989, for the protection of wildlife and the third, which took effect 



Table 18.1 Estimates of forest extent in Rio Muni and Bioko 



Area (sq. km) % of land area 



Ram forests 

Lowland (closed) 8,256 

Lowland (degraded) 7,945 

Montane 546 

Mangrove 257 



29.4 

28.3 

1.9 

0.9 



Totals . 17,004 60.5 

(Based on analysis of Map 18, 1 , Sec Map Legend on p. Ib7 for details of sources.) 



163 



Equatorial Guinea 

in January 1990, concerned with protected areas. The government 
department in charge of production and export of timber and the 
use of the forests is the Secretaria de Aguas y Bosques y 
Repoblacion Forestal. The Direccion General de Aguas y Bosques 
is the ultimate authority responsible for the administration, 
exploitation and conservation of forest resources in Equatorial 
Guinea. Its offices in Malabo grant felling concessions and deal 
with other matters relating to the management of forest land. 
However, staffing levels are low and few employees are trained in 
either forestry or conservation. 

It is difficult to estimate potential timber resources in Equatorial 
Guinea due to the lack of accurate inventory data. The available 
information comes primarily from FAOAJNEP (1981) and 
Malleux (1987). Both estimate that, although commercially valu- 
able timber is found throughout most of the country, in Plio Muni 
its potential for exploitation is restricted to 85 per cent of the ter- 
ritory and in Bioko to less than 20 per cent. Only about 1 per cent 
of Equatorial Guinea's commercial forest is found on Bioko 
(FAOAJNEP, 1981). Indeed, it was estimated in 1985 that there 
were only 4 sq. km of unexploited, commercially productive for- 
est land on the island (Butynski and Koster, 1 989a). Recent reports 
of industrial logging in forests on Bioko's mountain slopes are 
therefore rather alarming. 

Timber has been extracted in the country since the early 1920s, 
its use coinciding largely with the development of the plywood mar- 
ket and the demand for veneer logs. Between 1930 and 1939, an 
average of 60,941 cu. m of timber was exported annually, a large 
percentage (50-99 per cent) of which was Aucoumea klaineana 
(Capdeveielle, 1969). There was a drop in expons between 1939 
and 1963 followed by a recovery which continued until indepen- 
dence in 1968. Between 1963 and 1970 a total of 2,543,000 cu. 
m of wood was exported and at least 1017 sq. km of forest was 
logged. Jacobson (1968), Vanniere (1969) and FAO (1972) all 
reported that exploitation in Equatonal Guinea, at 25 cu. m of tim- 



ber per ha of forest, was more intense at that time than in any other 
African country. As a result, large individuals of valuable species 
such as Aucoumea klaineana have virtually disappeared from the 
western forests. From independence until 1981, exportation of 
wood was limited to 50,000 cu. m per year. Thereafter the volume 
extracted has been increasing so that 133,000 cu. m has been 
exported each year from 1986-8 (FAO, 1990). Veneer logs have 
been the major product, making up 90-100 per cent of the 
exported wood. 

Timber exploitation is carried out entirely by private logging 
companies to which the government gives concessions for selec- 
tive logging. The government can grant land through direct con- 
tract or public auction, and government inspectors work with the 
companies on the ground to verify volume extracted. Timber is 
subject to high export taxes and there are also taxes on petrol and 
handling. This high taxation and the excessive costs of road build- 
ing - vehicles transporting wood are not allowed to use public roads 
- are considered to be the main obstacles to the expansion of the 
timber industry in the country. However, the National Forestry 
Programme aims to promote the expansion of forestry in 
Equatorial Guinea (to reach 450,000 cu. m) by improving and 
enlarging the forestry road network in Rio Muni to accommodate 
the increase in timber traffic (Lepitre et ai, 1988). In addition, it 
is proposed that a second port be opened at Cogo; at present tim- 
ber is exported exclusively from the port of Bata. 

Wildlife is under heavy hunting pressure north of the Uoro 
River, but the situation is much better south of the river 
(Castroviejo et a!., 1986; Fa, 1988; UICN, 1991). There are few 
guns in the country, so animals are usually trapped with wire 
snares. Bushmeat, particularly from duikers, primates and the 
giant forest rat Cricelomys gambianus is a major source of protein 
in human diet. Most of the meat is consumed locally, but some is 
sold on the roadside or taken to the market in nearby large towns 
(Castroviejo et ai, 1986; Fa, 1988; UICN, 1991). 



Equatonal Guinea 's National Forestiy Prograntine aims to expand the logging inJustiy ui the country. 



J. Fa 




164 



Equatorial Guinea 



Deforestation 

Most deforestation in Equatorial Guinea is a result of shifting agri- 
culture (Vanniere, 1969). Forest is cleared, usually incompletely, 
the debris is burnt and the land cultivated for less than five years 
before being allowed to reven to forest or other secondary vegeta- 
tion. FAO estimated that 140 sq. km of forest in Rio Muni and 
10 sq. km in Bioko were being cleared for agriculture every year 
from 1980 to 1985, but this was largely in already exploited areas 
(FAOAJNEP, 1981). Lepitre et al. (1988) calculated that 1425 
sq. km of land was affected by agriculturalists and that 80 per cent 
of this was forest. In Rjo Muni, severe forest destruction has 
occurred in the Micomeseng-Ebebiyin-Mongomo region. Cacao 
plantations occupied much of the land before independence, but 
they now constitute only 3 per cent of their former size. There are, 
however, plans to rehabilitate the cacao industry and this may 
increase pressure on the forests. 

A considerable amount of forest destruction on Bioko must have 
taken place between 1860 and 1902 since, in the former year, 
Gustav Mann found it totally unexploited (Hooker, 1862), but 
when Alexander (1903) visited in 1902 he reported a belt of culti- 
vation more than 3 km wide around most of the island. By 1911, 
Mildbraed (1922) observed that most of the tropical lowland for- 
est had been felled. Nosti reponed that almost 97 per cent of the 
tropical zone was under cultivation in 1947, but, in contrast, the 
vegetation maps of Guinea (1968) showed that about 20 per cent 
of the lowland forest remained in that year. In short, it appears that 
during the 100 years from 1860-1959 about 50 per cent of Bioko's 
natural vegetation was destroyed with at least 80 per cent of the 
lowland tropical forest and 55 per cent of the subtropical montane 
forest being removed (Butynski, 1985). Until recently, though, 
there was little destruction of the remaining lowland rain forest on 
the island. Indeed, the abandonment of the plantations meant that 
much of the forested land that had been cleared for agriculture was 
regenerating to bush and secondary forest. However, the recent 
investments in rehabilitating the cacao industry are reversing these 
trends. 

Biodiversity 

Given the paucity of information on the plants and animals pre- 
sent in Equatorial Guinea, only a cursory view of the major aspects 
of the country's biodiversity is possible at present. However, the 
importance of Bioko as a locality of unique insular life forms and 
Rio Muni's position within a Pleistocene refuge (see chapter 2), 
makes Equatorial Guinea a significant country- for biological diver- 
sity. For the country as a whole, it is reported that there are 141 
mammal species and 392 bird species (Stuan et al, 1990), but 
these are probably not complete lists. 

The floristic affinities of Rio Muni are Guineo-Congolian 
(White, 1983). There are no figures available for the number of 
plant species there, but the flora is likely to be rich (Davis et al., 
1986). Little is known about any of the fauna on continental 
Equatorial Guinea. However, it is certain that Rio Muni contains 
important populations of large mammals such as gorilla Gorilla 
gorilla, chimpanzee Pan troglodytes, elephant Loxodonta ajricana, 
buffalo Synccnis caffer nanus and forest duikers (Castroviejo et ai, 
1986; Fa, 1988; UICN, 1991). The primates of panicular con- 
servation importance on the mainland are the red-capped 
mangabey Cercocebus torquatus, mandrill Mandrillus sphinx, black 
colobus Colobus satanas, chimpanzee and gorilla (Oates, 1986). 

Of the recorded 1 105 plant species on Bioko, 49 are endemic 
(Davis cr d/. , 1986). Endemism is low for venebrate species on this 
island. Indeed, the only known endemic vertebrates are a bird, the 
Fernando Po speirops Speirops bnumeus (Amadon, 1953), a skink, 



Scelotes poensis, and a caecilian, Schistometopum garzonheydti. 
However, 28 per cent of the 65 mammals and 32 per cent of the 
144 resident birds are endemic subspecies (Amadon, 1953; 
Eisentraut, 1973). A total of 32 amphibians and 52 reptiles have 
been recorded on the island (Butynski and Koster, 1989a). A large 
number of the plants and animals on Bioko have a very restricted 
distribution on the mainland, many of them being found only on 
Mt Cameroon (references in Butynski and Koster, 1989a). As a 
result, the populations of these species are frequently small and 
highly vulnerable to extinction (Butynski and Koster, 1989a). Rare 
pnmates on the island are an endemic subspecies of drill Mandrillus 
leucophaeus poensis, Preuss's guenon Cercopithecus preussi insularis, 
red-eared guenon Cercopithecus erythrotis erythrotis and Pennant's 
red colobus Procolobus [badiiis] pennanti pennami. 

Green and hawksbill turtles (Chelonia mydas and Ereimochelys 
inibncata) both nest on Bioko's beaches and are exploited - and 
probably depleted - by the local people for food and tortoiseshell 
(Butynski and Koster, 1989b). Fishes have been the focus of a 
study by Roman (1971), but more extensive work, being carried 
out by a Spanish Cooperation Programme, has resulted in the dis- 
covery of several new and previously unrecorded species. 

Annobon has 17 single island endemic species of plant out of a 
totalindigenousfloraof 208 species (Exell, 1944, 1973). Only two 
species of reptile have been reported on the island, the endemic 
gecko, Hemidactylus nezvtoni, and Lygodactylus thomensis, a gecko 
that is found also on Sao Tome and Principe. There are only nine 
species of resident land birds on Annobon, two are endemic sub- 
species, one confined to Annobon and the other shared with Sao 
Tome and Principe. 

Conservation Areas 

Although the Monte Alen Panial Reserve and several other parks 
and reserves were initially proposed before 1970, they have only 
recently been officially protected. The newly protected areas are 
those proposed by Castroviejo er a/. (1986) and UICN (1991). The 
network is composed of two areas on Bioko and five on Rio Muni, 
as well as the island of Annobon in its entirety (Table 18.2). 

On Bioko, the protected area on Pico Basile extends from the 
moist lowland forests to subalpine heaths and meadows. It is here 
that the endemic Fernando Po speirops is found, as well as nine of 
Bioko's ten primate species (Butynski and Koster, 1989a). There 
are no people living in this area, but hunting is common around 
the lower parts of the peak and along the road to the summit 



Table 18.2 Conservation areas of Equatorial Guinea 

Area (sq. km) 
Conservation Areas 

Altos de Nsok* 400 

Estuario de Rio Muni* 700 

Estuario de Rio Ntem (Rio Campo)* 200 



Macizo de Monte Alen* 
Macizo de los Monies Mitra* 
Pico Basile o Sta. Isabel (Bioko)* 
Sur de la Isla de Bioco (Bioko)* 
Isla de Annobonf 



Total 



800 
300 
150 
600 
17 

3,167 



{Snurcei: Castroviejo el al., 1986; J. Castroviejo, pers. comm.) 

* Area with moist forest within its boundaries according to Map 18.1, including some 

areas mapped as 'degraded forest'. 

t Not mapped 



165 



Equatorial Guinea 

(Castroviejo tv <j/. , 1986; Fa, 1988; UICN, 1991). The other pro- 
tected area, in the south of the island, contains Bioko's last exten- 
sive stands of primar>' lowland forest, with montane forest and sub- 
alpine heaths at higher altitudes (Castroviejo cr al. , 1986; Fa, 1988; 
UICN, 1991). The beaches in this region are particularly impor- 
tant for nesting marine tunles (Butynski and Koster, 1989b). 
Hunting occurs here in only a few easily accessible areas and there 
is no human settlement. 

The largest of the protected areas on Rio Muni, and one of the 
most important for large mammals, is Macizo de Monte Alen in 
the north of the Niefang mountain range. This site is an important 
water catchment area for the Uolo River and it contains intact pri- 
mary forest which is unlikely to be exploited because of the rugged 
topography of the region (Castroviejo et al, 1985; UICN, 1991). 
There is some secondary vegetation and agricultural land within 
the site and a low population density (less than 2.5 individuals per 
sq. km). Although animals are trapped, particularly around vil- 
lages, there are still considerable populations of elephant, buffalo, 
chimpanzees, gorillas and leopards Panthciu parJus \n the area 
(Castroviejo et a!., 1986; Fa, 1988). The threatened mandrill is 
also present in high densities (Castroviejo et al., 1986). 

Castroviejo et al (1986, 1990) consider that strict protection 
and exclusion of human activity are not feasible in the protected 
areas. Instead, they and Fa (1988) suggest that the areas should be 
managed for the sustainable use of natural resources; logging, cul- 
tivation and hunting should be kept to a minimum within core 
areas and rare animal species should be protected from exploita- 
tion, while there could be sustained-yield offtakes of the commoner 
species. However, Butynski and Koster (1989a) suggest that, on 
Bioko at least, a minimum of 60 per cent of each protected area 
should be designated as strictly protected core zones and that only 
the remaining 40 per cent in the buffer zone should be used for 
sustainable, multiple-use land practices. 



Initiatives for Conservation 

Conser\'ation-related projects in Equatorial Guinea are a very 
recent phenomenon although some measures for protection of cer- 
tain areas were implemented during the colonial period. Since 
independence in 1968, FAO has been the focal point for institu- 
tional support to the forestry sector in the country. The earlier pro- 
jects focused on the need for forestry inventories (Vanniere, 1 969), 
but recent emphasis has been placed on evaluating the growth 
potential of the forestry sector (Catinot, 1980; Lepitre, 1986). A 
1986 mission concentrated on the training of personnel for refor- 
estation (Troensegaard, 1986). However, the most recent effort, 
begun in 1988, is a two and a half year project to culminate in a 
1:200,000 forest resources map of Rio Muni, detailed inventories 
of tree resources, management of a pilot study and demonstration 
area of 160 sq. km for agroforestry, and initiation of action for a 
more rational use and administration of the country's forest 
resources. The latter includes the start of a data bank containing 
details of all forestry concessions, a management plan for the 
forests and the training of forestry personnel. 

A Spanish supported project which started in 1985, focuses on 
biological research and nature conservation (Castroviejo el al, 
1986). It is funded by the Cooperation Espafiola and undertaken 
by scientists from Doiiana in Seville, Spain. They have worked on 
an inventory of the flora and fauna of Equatorial Guinea, recom- 
mended areas for conservation and have been training local peo- 
ple in research techniques. 

The EEC, in collaboration with lUCN, has developed a regional 
project in Central Africa for the rational use and conservation of 
forest resources (Fa, 1988; UICN, 1991). This project will sup- 
port Equatorial Guinea's National Forestry Programme by assist- 
ing training, ecological studies and practical conservation man- 
agement. It will also help establish the conservation area at Monte 
Alen. 



References 

Alers, M. P. T. and Blom, A. (1988) Elephants and Apes of Rio 

Mum: report of a first mission to Rio Muni (Equalonal Guinea) . 

Unpublished report to Wildlife Conservation International. 
Alexander, B. (1903) On the birds of Fernando Po. Ibis: 

330-403. 
Amadon, D. (1953) Avian systematics and evolution in the Gulf 

of Guinea. Bulletin of the American Aluseum of Natural History 

100: 395 451. 
Butynski, T. M. (1985) Survey of the Rain Forests and Primates on 

Bioko Island (Fernando Poo), Equatorial Guinea. A research proposal 

submitted to the New York Zoological Society. Unpublished. 
Butynski, T. M. and Koster, S. H. (1989a) The Status and 

Conservation of Forests and Primates on Bioko Island (Fernando 

Poo), Equatorial Guinea. WWF Unpublished Report, 

Washington, DC, USA. 
Butynski, T. M. and Koster, S. H. (1989b) Marine Turtles on 

Bioko Island (Fernando Poo), Equatorial Guinea: A Call for 

Research and Conservation. WWF Unpublished Report, 

Washington, DC, USA. 
Capdeveielle, J. M. (1969) Tres Estudiosy un Ensayo sobre Temas 

Forestales de la Guinea Continental Espaiiota. Institute de 

Estudios Africanos, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones 

Cientificas, Madrid, Spain. 
Castro, M. and Calle, M. (1985) Geografia de Guinea Ecuatorial. 

Prograina de Colaboracion Education con Guinea Ecuatonal 

Secretaria General Tecnica. Ministerio de Educacion y Ciencia, 

Madrid, Spain. 



Castroviejo, J., Juste, J. and Castelo, R. (1986) Proyecto de 

Investigacion y Consen^acion de la Natiiraleza en Guinea 

Ecuatorial. Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Espana, Secretaria 

de Estado para Cooperacion Internacional y para Iberoamerica 

Oficina de Cooperacion con Guinea Ecuatorial. 
Castroviejo, J., Blom, A. and Alers, M. P. T. (1990) Equatorial 

Guinea. In: Antelopes Global Suri'cy and Regional Action Plans. 

Part 3: West and Central Africa. East, R. (ed.) lUCN/SSC 

Antelope Specialist Group. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 
Catinot, R. (1980) Perspectives de Developpement forestier en 

Guinee Equatoriale et Programme d'Action. FAO, Rome, Italy. 
Davis, S. D., Droop, S. J. M., Gregerson, P., Henson, L., Leon, 

C. J., Villa-Lobos, J. L., Synge, H. and Zantovska, J. 

(1986) Plants in Danger: Vl/liat do we knozc? lUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 
Eisentraut, M. (1973) Die Wirbeltierfauna von Fernando Poo 

und Westkamerun. Bonner Zoologische Monographien 3: 1-428. 
Exell, A. W. (1944) Catalogue of the I 'ascidar Plants of Sao Tome 

(with Principe and Annobon). British Museum (Natural 

History), London. 428 pp. 
Exell, A. W. (1952/3) The vegetation of the islands of the Gulf 

of Guinea. Lejeunica 16: 57-66. 
Exell, A. W. (1973) Angiosperms of the islands of the Gulf of 

Guinea (Fernando Po, Principe, Sao Tome and Annobon). 

Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), Botany 4(8): 

325-411. 
Fa, J. E. (1988) Equatorial Guinea: W'ildlife Conservation and 



166 



Equatorial Guinea 



Rational Use of Natural Resources. Universidad Nacional 

Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico. 
FAO (1972) Forestry Report on Equatorial Guinea. Based on 

assignment FAO/EQG/7 0/001 of A. G. Forester. FAO, Rome, 

Italy. 
FAO (1988) An Interim Report on the State of Forest Resources in 

the Developing Countries. FAO, Rome, Italy. 18pp. 
FAO (1991) FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 1978-1989. FAO 

Forestry Series No. 24 and FAO Statistics Series No. 97. FAO, 

Rome, Italy. 
FAOAJNEP (1981) Tropical Forest Resources Assessment Project. 

Forest Resources of Tropical Afnca. Part II Countiy Briefs. FAO, 

Rome, Italy. 
Fry, C. H. (1961) Notes on the birds of Annobon and other 

islands in the Gulf of Guinea. Ibis 103: 267-76. 
Guinea, E. (1946) Ensayo Geobotanico de la Guinea Ecuatorial. 

Institute de Estudios Africanos, Consejo Superior de 

Investigaciones Cientificas, Madrid, Spain. 
Guinea, E. (1968) Fernando Po. In: Conservation of Vegetation m 

Africa South of the Sahara. Hedberg, I. and Hedberg, O. (eds). 

Acta Phytogeographica Suecica 54: 130-2. 
Harrison, M. J. S. (1990) A recent survey of the birds of Pagalu 

(Annobon). Malimbus 11: 135-43. 
Hooker, J. D. (1862) On the vegetation of Clarence Peak, 

Fernando Po; with descriptions of the plants collected by Mr 

Gustav Mann on the higher parts of that mountain. Proceedings 

of the Linnean Society of London 6: 1-30. 
Hughes, R. H. and Hughes, J. S. (1991) A Directory of 

Afrotropical Wetlands. lUCN, Gland, Switzeriand and 

Cambridge, UK/UNEP, Nairobi, KenyaAVCMC, Cambridge, 

UK. 
Jacobson, C. A. (1968) Logging in the Rio Mum (Guinea 

Ecuatorial). Internal FAO document, Rome, Italy. 
Lepitre, C. (1986) Exploitation Forestiere en Guinee Equatoriale. 

Ministere de la Cooperation Francaise, Centre Technique 

Forestier Tropical, Paris, France. 
Lepitre, C, Mille, G. and de Royer, G. (1988) Programme 

d'Appui au Sccteiir Forestiere en Guinee Equatoriale. Fond 

Europeen de Developpement, Brussels, Belgium. 
Malleux, J. ( 1 987) Infonne de la Mision de Inventanoy Ordenacion 

Forestal. FAO, Rome, Italy. 
Mildbraed, J. (1922) Fernando Poo m Wissenschaftlicke 

Ergebnisse der Zweiten Deutschen Zentral-Africa-Expedition, 

1910-1911. Botanik, Leipzig 2: 1 64-95. 
Nosti, J. (1947) El bosque en Fernando Poo. Africa ano VI, 

niims 66-7. 
Oates, J. F. (1986) Action Plan for African Primate Conservation: 

1986-1990. lUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, Stony 

Brook, New York, USA. 



Ocafia Garcia, M. (1962) Factores que influencian la distribu- 

cion de la vegetacion en Fernando Poo. Archivos del Instituto de 

Estudios Afncanos XIV 55: 67-85. 
Roman, B. (1971) Feces de Rio Mum, Guinea Ecuatorial faguas 

dukes y salobres). Fundacion la Salle de Ciencias Naturales, 

Caracas, Venezuela. 
Stuart, S. N., Adams, R. J. and Jenkins, M. D. 

(1990) Biodiversity in Sub-Saharan Africa and its Islands: 

Conseivation, Aianagemem and Sustainable Use. Occasional 

Papers of the lUCN Species Survival Comission No. 6. lUCN, 

Gland, Switzerland. 
Troensegaard, J. (1986) Fonnulacion del TCP/s-Y-EQG-20, 

Capacitacion en refcrestacton. Informe de Mision. FAO, Rome, 

Italy. 
UICN (1991) Conseruacion de las Ecosistemas Forestales de Guinea 

Ecuatorial. Basado en el trabajo de John E. Fa. UICN, Gland, 

Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 221 pp. 
Vanniere, B. (1969) Mission d'lnventaire Forestier, 20 Juin-29 

Juillet 1969, Guinee Equatoriale. FAO, Rome, Italy. 
White, F. (1983) The Vegetation of Afnca: a descriptive memoir to 

accompany the Unesco/AETF AT/UN SO vegetation map of Africa. 

Unesco, Paris, France. 356 pp. 
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Cocoa Rehabilitation Project. Western Africa Projects 

Department, World Bank, Washington, DC, USA. 

Authorship 

John Fa, Gibraltar with contributions from Javier Castroviejo 
Bolibar, Coto Doiiana, Spain. 



Map 18.1 Forest cover in Equatorial Guinea 

Forest cover for Rio .Muni shown on Map 18.1 has been extracted from a 
national forest map (no title), produced in 1960 and prepared for the Servicio 
Geografico del Ejercito. There is no recent vegetation map of Equatorial Guinea 
available. The source map has been published at a scale of 1:100,000 in 15 
sheets but does not cover the island of Bioko. Three forest types have been 
extracted, namely, Bosque demo shown as lowland rain forest in this Atlas, 
Bosque elaro mapped as degraded lowland rain forest and Alaugle covering the 
distribution of mangrove. Although the source map is over 30 years old, it is 
believed that there have been no major changes in forest cover since then and 
therefore Map 18.1 provides a fairly accurate account of the distribution of 
closed and disturbed forest within Rio Muni. 

Vegetation cover for Bioko has been taken from a sketch map accompanying 
a report written by Butynski and Koster (1989a), on which the appro.\imate 
present distribution of cultivation, secondary' forest and the four main natural 
vegetation types on Bioko Island are depicted. LoivlanJ fores! and Montaiie forest 
vegetation types have been taken from this map. There are no spatial data for 
the extent of the forests remaining on Annobon. 

Spatial data for conservation areas have been taken from various sketch maps 
and data on file at VC'CMC. 



167 



19 Gabon 



Land area 257, 6/0 sq km 

Population (mid-1990) 1 2 million 

Population growth rate in 1990 2 2 per (enl 

Population projected to 2020 2 b million 

Gross national product per capita (1988) US$29/0 

Rain lorest (see map) 235,445sqkmt 

Closed broodleaved forest (end 1 980) ' 205,000 sq. km 

Annual deforestation rate (1981-5)' 150sq km 

Industrial roundwood productionf 1 ,222,000 cu m 

Industrial roundwood exports! ' 1 3,000 (u m 

Fuelwood and charcoal productionf 2,478,000 cu m 

Processed wood productionf 354,000 cu. m 

Processed wood exportsf 53,000 cu m 

• FA0(1988) 

t 1989 dolohomFAO (19911 

t Figure olmosr cerloinly o (onsideroble overestimoie resulting from Itie poor 

resolution of the source mop used, which does nor ijistinguish ognculhjiol 

encloves within the remoming forest ond extensive oieos of degmded foiest 




Gabon, on the west coast of equatorial Africa is not a country typical of the region. Tropical forest still covers 88 per cent of 
its land area, (deforestation rates are low and large populations of elephants, gorillas and chimpanzees, species severely threat- 
ened in most countries, still exist. 

Historically, the tropical forest ecosystem of the country has been naturally protected by the low human population den- 
sity, limited transport routes in the interior and by many of the people having found productive employment in development 
associated with the extraction of minerals such as oil, manganese and uranium. By the early 1980s Gabon had the second 
highest per capita income in continental Africa, after Libya. Many large development projects were undertaken, the biggest 
being the construction of a railway, completed in 1987, linking the capital Libreville, on the coast, to Franceville 650 km 
inland. The decline in oil prices reduced Gabon's revenues by almost 50 per cent and the country now has the second largest 
debt per capita in Africa. These two factors have introduced a real threat to the country's forests as the railway has allowed 
selective logging to spread to central and eastern regions and exploitation of all natural resources is being accelerated to gen- 
erate export revenue. In the scramble to raise revenues, the standard of logging practices is said to be declining. 

Five protected areas exist which together account for 6.9 per cent of the country's land area; however, the forests of all but 
the smallest have been selectively logged. At present no forest area in Gabon is protected from selective logging although the 
forests of the north-east which do not contain okoume (an important timber tree) are not immediately threatened. There are 
now plans to extend the network of protected areas and to exclude logging from some parts of the forest within existing reserves. 
The long-term conservation of Gabon's forests requires not only that new reserves be created but also that the selective log- 
ging practices be improved with a view to ensuring sustainability. 



Introduction 

Gabon has an area of 267,667 sq. km, straddling the equator on 
the west coast of Africa (2°12'N to 3'55'S and 8°20'-14""40'E). Its 
Atlantic coastline stretches for 750 km and it borders Equatorial 
Guinea and Cameroon to the nonh and Congo to the east and 
south. 

The climate is equatorial with mean temperatures varying 
between 2r^C and 27°C. Rainfall is relatively low, ranging from 
1500 mm in the nonh-east and in the savanna areas, to 3300 mm 
in the north-west. There are two wet seasons (March-June and 
October-December) and two dry seasons (January and 
July-September). Humidity is high even during the long dry sea- 
son when evaporation rates and temperatures are low due to per- 
sistent cloud cover (Hladik, 1973). 

The Ogooue river drains about two-thirds of Gabon's area. It 
originates in the south-east close to the border with Congo, and 
flows north and then west to reach the Atlantic through a complex 
delta. Three geomorphic zones are recognised: the sedimentary 
coastal basin which is relatively flat with altitudes rising only a few 
hundred metres above sea level; the north-south ranges of moun- 
tains (iVlonts de Cristal in the nonh and Massif du Chaillu in the 
south) with rugged terrain rising to 900 m; and the eastern plateaux 



intersected by deep valleys. The highest point in the country is 
Mont Sassamongo (1001 m) in the north-east. 

The human population density is low and Gabon is in the low 
fenilify crescent of the Congo basin. The official estimate of the 
population, based on a census in 1980, is 1,232,000 but other 
sources suggest a lower figure of about 900,000. The figure given 
for 1990 by the Population Reference Bureau is 1.2 million. At 
least 50 per cent of the population are urban, living in the coastal 
towns of Libreville and Port Gentil, the mining towns of the south- 
east, Moanda and Mounana, or in the two other sizeable towns, 
Franceville and Oyem. Rural population density does not exceed 
two inhabitants per sq. km and vast areas of the interior are unpop- 
ulated. A resetdement programme in the 1950s led to all villages 
being sited on roads or navigable rivers. Meanwhile, a few indige- 
nous hunter-gatherers, the pygmies, maintain their traditional way 
of life in parts of the north-east and south-west. 

Rural land is state owned. Forest management is overseen by 
the Ministry of Water and Forests which has 1 1 divisions, three of 
which are concerned with forestry (Inventories, Forest 
Exploitation and Reforestation) and one with faunal management 
(Wildlife and Hunting). 



168 



Gabon 













L^ 








LIBREVILLE '^ 

51 






,0 


\franceville 


Trans-Gabon Rni 


woy ^ 






1 


Limit olokoume 

Limil of cooslal zone manogement 


V 


I 


1 1 







100 km 


^ Forest exploited 


as of 1988 







Figure 19.1 The distribution of okoume in Gabon (it occurs to 
the west but not to the east of the country) (Source: uicn, i990) 

The Forests 

Gabon falls within the Guineo-Congolian regional centre of 
endemism (White, 1983) and the diversit>' of plants is verv' high 
(Hladik, 1986;, Reitsma, 1988; UICN, 1990). The forests are dom- 
inated by trees of the Caesalpiniaceae family, but other well 
represented families are the Burseraceae, Euphorbiaceae and 
Olacaceae (Reitsma, 1988). Subdivision of the forest into categones 
is not easy as data are incomplete, but useful distinctions can be 
made both from an economic point of view and in relation to geo- 
morphology. The former approach distinguishes between forests 
with the important timber tree okoume Aucoumea klaineaiia and 
those without; thus Gabon is divided into a larger western zone, cov- 
ering about 70 per cent of the countn,', in which okoume occurs and 
is usually dominant, and a smaller zone in the east where okoume is 
absent (Figure 19.1). The second approach to forest classification 
distinguishes three major types (Caballe, 1978; UICN, 1990): 

• Forests of the sedimentary basin where Sacogloltis gabonensis 
dominates and okoume, Deshordesia glaucescens and Dacryodes 
buettneri are common. 

• Forests of the mountainous zones where Sacogloiiis disappears 
while okoume, Desbordesia and Dacryodes are abundant and 
Tetraberlmia polyphylla and Monopelalamhus spp. become com- 
mon. The mountainous zone of the Moms du Cristal has a high 
level of species endemism. 

• Forests of the eastern plateaux, where Desbordesia becomes rare 
while Scyphocephalnun ochocoa and Paraberlinea bifoliolata are 
abundant. In the nonh-east, okoume is absent. 

Grass savannas interspersed with gallery forests cover a total 
area of about 35,000 sq. km in the south-west, south-east and cen- 
tre of the country. It has been suggested that these savannas are 
man-made, dating from the migrations of Bantu tribes in the 15th 
and 16th centuries (Descoings, 1974; Fontes, 1978), but recent 
research suggests that the savannas of central Gabon may date at 
least from the Pleistocene and would be colonised by forest if left 
unburnt (Oslisly and Peyrot, pers. comm.) In fact, both human 
interference and natural climatic variations are probably responsi- 
ble for the existing vegetation patterns. 



Mangroves 

Mangrove forests characterised by Rhizophora racemosa cover 
about 3000 sq. km in the Gabon estuary and in the estuary of the 
river Ogooue alone. The area of mangroves shown on Map 19.1 is 
a litde over 6000 sq. km (Table 19.1). They are not subject to any 
commercial exploitation at present. 

Forest Resources and Management 

FAO (1988) estimated that there were 205,000 sq. km of closed 
broadleaved forest at the end of 1980. This is only 79.6 per cent 
of Gabon's land area. A later estimate (UICN, 1 990) suggests that 
88 per cent of the land, or around 227,500 sq. km, is still forested. 
Table 19.1, derived from Map 19.1, suggests that as much as 91 
per cent of Gabon is forested. However the source map (see Map 
Legend on p. 174) is generalised and undoubtedly overestimates 
the extent of forest cover. 

Considerable areas of the forest has been either logged or cleared 
for shifting agriculture at some time in the past. This is especially 
true in the north-central region, close to the border with Equatonal 
Guinea where much of the forest is secondary. The apparent con- 
trast in the state of the forest on the two sides of the frontier (see 
Maps 18.1 and 19.1) is evidence of the very generalised nature of 
the maps available for Gabon. The southern forests of the central 
zone are also substantially degraded (Figure 19.2). 

Selective logging began in Gabon at the turn of the 20th cen- 
tury. Until the discovery of oil reserves in the 1950s, wood repre- 
sented almost 90 per cent of the country's exports but, by 1985, 
this had fallen to 6 per cent. The figure for 1987 was 12 per cent, 
not due to an increase in expons of wood, but to the declining value 
of oil production. 

Okoume is a species of Burseraceae found only in Gabon, 
Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Congo and it is by far Gabon's 
most important timber species, responsible for at least 60 per cent 
of exports in 1987. Okoume is a light wood (density 0.6) which is 
valuable for peeling for plywood and it dominates the selective log- 
ging industry in Gabon. Forest inventories indicate that there are 
100 million cu. m of okoume in Gabon's forests and trees suffi- 
ciently large to be harvested (that is, at least 70 cm dbh) are found 
at densities of 1-3 per hectare. Annual production peaked at 
1.6-1.8 milhoncu.m between 1969 and 1973 (Barret, 1983), but 
declined because of reduced demand from Europe in 1974, and 
has since remained stable at just under one million cu. m per year. 
The stated aim of the government is to raise annual production of 
okoume to 2.1 million cu. m (Diop, 1989). Fifty-five other species 
are logged but only 14 of these accounted for more than 5000 cu. 
m of exported wood in 1987. 



Table 19.1 Estimates of forest extent in Gabon 

Area (sq. km) % of land area 



Rain forests 
Lowland 
Swamp 
Mangrove 

Totals 



(Based on analysis of Map 1 9. 1 . These figures and Map 1 9. 1 from whicll they are derived 
undoubtedly overestimate forest cover in Gabon. See Map Legend on p. 174 for details 
of sources.) 



225,276 


87,4 


4,040 


1.6 


6,129 


2.4 


235,445 


91.4 



169 



Gabon 

Forest management practices are defined by a law dating from 
July 1982 (No. 1/82/PR), but legislation relating to selective log- 
ging is not yet complete. Minimum diameters, between 55 and 70 
cm, are fixed for the species of trees which are commonly logged 
and a minimum interval of 20 years should elapse between suc- 
cessive logging of any area of forest, but neither of these stipula- 
tions is stnctly enforced. 

For management purposes, forests in which okoume occurs are 
divided into two zones covering about 90 per cent of the geo- 
graphical range of okoume. The first is the coastal zone where 
licences are issued only to Gabonese nationals, while the second 
zone, encompassing the inland forests, is open to all-comers. 
E.xploitation in this zone is closely linked to the recently completed 
railway line that runs from Libreville to Franceville in the south- 
east. The 650 km railway has made selective logging an economi- 
cally feasible activity by providing the means of transporting logs 
to the coast. Licences for concessions near the track were offered 
in advance of the completion of the railway and the fees contributed 
to the construction costs. Currently, approximately 50 companies 
are involved in selective logging. 

In 1988 it was estimated that 46 per cent (105,000 sq. km) of 
Gabon's forest had already been selectively logged at least once 
and that, each year about 2500 sq. km of forest is logged, 60 per 
cent of which is primary- forest (UICN, 1990). Extraction rates for 
okoume are low, averaging 1.5 trees per hectare, and an estima- 
tion of the direct and indirect damage caused by logging to the for- 
est is that between 10 and 20 per cent of the canopy is destroyed. 

Okoume is marketed by the state company Societe Nationale 
des Bois du Gabon (SNBG) which has a monopoly on sales of 
okoume and ozigo Dacryodes buetlneri. Other species can be sold 
directly by forestry companies. The SNBG has experienced diffi- 
culties maintaining an export market for okoume and, in early 
1989, imposed strict quotas on the amount of okoume each log- 



ging company could produce. The quotas represented a reduction 
in output of okoume compared to 1 988 levels and contradicted the 
government policy, announced six months earlier, to increase tim- 
ber production in order to help compensate for reduced oil rev- 
enues. Severe financial problems ensued for most of the logging 
companies as they had invested in equipment with the aim of 
increasing production in 1989. To help recoup this outlay they 
were forced to diversify' their activities, increasing the logging of 
other species to compensate for lost revenues from okoume. The 
change is dramatic and, although statistics are not yet available, 
okoume's dominance of the logging industry in Gabon is now- 
much reduced. This has important implications for forest man- 
agement as extraction rates have risen and forests that had been 
recently logged for okoume are being relogged to extract the other 
timber species for which a market, negotiable independently by 
each logging company, exists. 

Reforestation projects are in progress at six sites in Gabon but, 
at present, involve a total of only 310 sq. km (UICN, 1990). 
Planting and husbandry of okoume in logged forest is a promising 
way of increasing future production. While attempts to plant 
okoume in single-species plantations have not always been suc- 
cessful, artificially increasing okoume density is predicted to give 
annual production levels of 15-18 cu. m per hectare after 35-40 
years (Nicoll and Langrand, 1986). The current rate of reforesta- 
tion is about 10 sq. km per year - equivalent to the area of forest 
that is selectively logged each day in Gabon. 

Deforestation 

Deforestation is rare in Gabon compared to most other tropical 
forest countries. The low human population density in rural areas 
limits forest clearance for plantations. Most logging companies 
work from isolated bases and thus clearance for shifting cultivation 
is rarely associated with selective logging. 



Figure 19.2 Floristic regions of Gabon 



Co(obec(h 



ombo 



Port Gcniil 




Mayumba 



KEY 

EVERGREEN FOREST IN THE COASTAL ZONE 
\—-\ Okoume ond ozouga 

I I Okoume, alep and ozigo 

EVERGREEN FOREST IN THE CENTRAL ZONE 
|;!:-| okoume, alep, ozigo ond ondoungo 

Q Okoume, beli, sorro, ilombo and ongona 

!%?[ Semi-deciduous Iransilionol loresi of sorro, 
ilombo, limba and okoume 

DENSE FOREST OF THE EASTERN ZONE 
ni Sorro, ilombo, engena, fete spp. m'bonegue and limboli 

p-pl Semi-deciduous Ironsitional forest of ilomba, engona, 
limba and obeche 

OTHER FOREST FORMATIONS (Unzoned) 
^ Plonlalions, fallow oreas, bush and secondory 
or degraded foresi 

B Swamp foresi 

I I Other formations (e.g. savanna, coastol steppes) 



100 Icm 

I 



Smte Cobolli(1978) 



170 



Gabon 




171 



Gabon 




A hut m nonli-eastcm Gabon made entirely from forest prodiicis by Bakolct people. 



< Doumcnge 



In 1988 a total of 130 sq. km (0.05 per cent of the forest area) 
had been clear felled for industrial plantations of oil palms, rub- 
ber, coffee and cacao. A project to clear 227 sq. km of forest for 
Eucalyptus plantations was abandoned in 1982. Current develop- 
ment plans include expansion of commercial crops of basic foods 
such as bananas, manioc and rice, with the eventual aim that 
Gabon become agriculturally self-sufficient. The country is already 
self-sufficient for sugar, palm oil, pineapples, chickens and eggs. 
Some of the plantations are located in the savanna zone of the 
south-east, as are the chicken farms and cattle ranches. The area 
covered by subsistence plantations was about 600 sq. km in 1988. 
The area cleared for these each year is currently diminishing as a 
result of the migration of people to urban areas from the country- 
side. 

Although selective logging in Gabon does not lead to defor- 
estation, it is far from clear whether current logging practices are 
sustainable. Research on this topic is urgently needed as there are 
reasons to believe that the country's forests are particularly fragile 
given the generally low rainfall (Tutinand Fernandez, 1987). With 
the increased diversity of tree species being logged, extraction rates 
have risen and this obviously increases the percentage of the canopy 
eliminated. Forests in coastal areas that have been logged several 
times differ conspicuously in appearance from unlogged forests, 
with lower canopy and dense herbaceous undergrowth which 
appears to limit the regeneration of many trees (Nicoll and 
Langrand, 1986). 

While shifting cultivation does not pose a great threat in Gabon, 
hunting certainly mcreases as a result of logging. The roads opened 
by loggers allow access to new hunting areas and the trans-Gabon 
railway provides the means for the products of large-scale hunting 
to be transported to urban areas. Subsistence hunting by small 
rural communities has a limited impact, but professional hunters 
who provide meat for larger towns can decimate the fauna of a par- 
ticular area in a short time. 



Biodiversity 

Gabon's forests are home to a diverse array of flora and fauna. 
Recent studies (Hladik, 1986; Reitsma, 1988) have shown plant 
diversity to be equal to that of tropical forests of South America 
although these were previously considered unrivalled in their diver- 
sity. There are an estimated 8000 plant species and of the 1900 
already described in the 'Flore du Gabon', an impressive 19 per 
cent are endemic. Description of the flora is far from complete and 
discoveries of new species are almost commonplace (see, for exam- 
ple, Halle, 1987 and Floret et ai, 1989). 

There is a diverse range of mammalian fauna with 1 30 species 
recorded from the best-studied area, close to Makokou in the 
nonh-east (CENAREST, 1979). At least 20 species of primate 
occur in Gabon, including important populations of western low- 
land gorilla Gorilla g. gorilla, chimpanzee Pan t. troglodytes, black 
colobus Colobus satanas and mandrill Aiandrillus sphinx and a newly 
discovered endemic species of monkey, the sun-tailed guenon 
Cercopilhccus solatus (Harrison, 1988). A recent census found ele- 
phant Loxodonta ajncana to be widely distributed and estimated a 
total population of 74,000 (Michelmore et al., 1989). Manatee 
Trichechus senegalensis and hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibms 
occur in lagoons and coastal rivers. Water chevrotain Hyemoschus 
aijiiaticus and otter shrew Potamogale velox occur throughout the 
country at low densities. Bongo Tragelaphus etoyceros and giant for- 
est hog Hylochocrus jncmertzhagent appear to be limited to parts of 
the north-east and are probably rare. Seven species of forest duiker 
exist including an endemic sub-species, the white-legged duiker 
Cephalophus ogilbyi crusalbum (Blom el al., 1990). Several species 
become common in forests close to savanna zones, including bush- 
buck Tragelaphus senplus, buffalo Syneerus cajfer nanus and yellow- 
backed duiker Cephalophus sylvicultor. Lion Panthera leo previously 
occurred in the savanna zones but had been eliminated by the early 
1970s. Leopard Panthera pardus and golden cat Felis aurata are 
widelv distributed. 



172 



Gabon 



Table 19.2 Conservation areas of Gabon 

Slrici Nature Reserves 
Ipassa-Makokou* 



Presidential Reserves 
Wonga-Wongue* 

Wildlife Managemetit Areas 

Lope* 

Sette-Cama*- 

Unclassified 
Moukalaba-Dougoua* 

Others 

Sibang Experimental Forest Stationf 

Total 



Area (sq. km) 
100 

4,800 



5,000 
7,000 



1,000 



<1 



17,900 



(Sources: UICN, 1990; WCMC, m tm.) 

* Area with moisl forest within its boundanes according to Map 19. 1 .. 

^ Not mapped - no location data available. 

' Lope Reserve incorporates the following zones: Reserve de faune de I'Offoue-Okanda 

and the Domainc de chasse de la Lope-Okanda. 

' Sette-Cama Reserve incorporates the following zones: Reserve de faune du Petit 

Loango, the Reserve de faune de la plaine Quango, the Domaine de chasse d'Iguela, the 

Domaine de chasse de Ngoue-N'Dogo and the Domaine de chasse de Settc-Cama. 



The avifauna of Gabon is also diverse with 618 species recorded 
to date (P. Christy, pers. comm.). Several threatened or poorly 
known species occur, such as the Loango slender-billed weaver 
Ploceus subpersonatus, Damara tern Stenia balacnaruin, grey-necked 
rockfowl Picathartes areas and Dja river warbler Bradyptenis gran- 
dis. The majority of birds in Gabon are sedentar/ forest species but 
savanna species typical of the West African region are also well rep- 
resented. Migratory birds include at least 90 palearctic species and 
about 50 inter-African species. 

In the Makokou area 65 species of land and fresh water reptiles 
have been recorded (CENAREST, 1979) but systematic data are 
lacking for other parts of the country. Two species of small 
crocodile {Crocodylus cataphractus and Osteolaemus tetraspis) are 
widely distributed, whereas the Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus 
has disappeared from many rivers as a result of hunting. Gabon is 
an important nesting area for leather-backed turtle Dermochelys 
coriacea but human predation on eggs is high. Approximately 100 
species of amphibians have been recorded. Systematic research has 
been conducted on neither fish nor invertebrates but the rare giant 
African swallowtail butterfly Papilio antunachus has been recorded 
in the Lope Reserve. 

The low human population density, the isolation of much of the 
interior and the mineral resources which have reduced the need to 
exploit timber, have combined to provide natural protection of huge 
areas. These historical factors explain why Gabon shelters larger 
numbers of elephants, gorillas and chimpanzees than any other 
country (Tutin and Fernandez, 1984; iMichelmore et al., 1989; 
WCI, 1989). However, the situation is rapidly changing, principally 
since the completion of the railway in 1987, as this has opened up 
previously inaccessible regions to selective logging and hunting. The 
current economic problems are also increasing pressure on the 
forest. Gabon's external debt crisis has led to the current policy of 
maximising expoitation of the country's natural resources despite the 
fact that demand for these products on international markets is weak. 



Conservation Areas and Initiatives 

Protected areas in Gabon currently total 17,900 sq. km (Table 19.2) 
which represents 6.9 per cent of the land area. No national parks exist 
and selective logging has affected the forests of four of the five 
reserves; indeed, the four large reserves all contain sizeable areas of 
savanna. Three faunal reserves are administered by the Wildlife 
Department: the Lope in central Gabon, Moukalaba in the south-west, 
and Sene-Cama on the south-west coast. The other two proteaed 
areas are Wonga-Wongue, the presidential reserve on the coast south 
of Libreville, and Ipassa-Makokou in the north-east, a Biosphere 
reserve run by the National Centre for Scientific and Technical 
Research (CENAREST) which has an ecological field station. 

There are problems with all the existing reserves: none is legally 
protected from selective logging; none has a management plan and 
all are critically understaffed and underfunded. A planned EEC- 
financed project for die Lope Reserve would resolve a number of these 
problems but implementation is urgent as three logging companies 
are currendy working within the reserve. Research on the socio-ecology 
of chimpanzees and gorillas and on the impact of selective logging on 
populations of large mammals is being conducted at the field station in 
this reserve. Few mammals remain in the small Ipassa-Makokou Reserve 
which has been very heavily poached, due to its proximit>' to the town of 
Makokou and to a total lack of policing (Lahm, pers. comm.). 

A recent EEC/IUCN repon (UICN, 1990) recommends diat 
inventories and more studies of the forests be made, that the forests 
are managed for sustainable use of the timber, that there is better con- 
trol of commercial hunting and that legislation and education about 
the forests is improved. The report also proposes the creation of sev- 
eral additional reserves and extensions of some of tne existing pro- 
tected areas (Figure 19.3) as the present network does not include 

Figure 19.3 Areas suggested by lUCN for protection (existing 
conservation areas are shown but not numbered) (Source: UICN, 1 990) 

1 Monts Doudou fthis area would protect the endemic white-legged duiker and would 
extend Sette-Cama to make the largest reserve in Gabon). 2 Soungou-.Milonda. 3 Mont 
Iboundji (this is an extension of Ijjpe Reserve). 4 Foret des Abeilles (suggested specifically 
to protect the endemic sun-tailed guenon and is an extension of the Lope Reserve). 5 
.Mingouli 6 Montsde Bclinga. 7 Grottesde Belinga (an important area for bats). 8 Dioua. 
9Minkebe. lOTchimbele. 11 Akanda. 12Mondah. 13 0zouri. 14LacOnangue. ISI^coni. 




173 



Gabon 

the full range of diversitv' of Gabon's flora and fauna. One of the sug- 
gestions in the report was that Moukalaba Reserve and the Sette- 
Cama Reserve are amalgamated which, with the inclusion of the 
Monts Doudou region in between, would create the country's largest 
protected area (Gamba Reserve) of approximately 9000 sq. km. 

A survey funded by WWF is presently being undertaken in one 
of the largest of the proposed areas, Minkebe (7000 sq. km) in the 
north-east of the country. Minkebe is outside the limits of okoume 
distribution and thus less threatened by selective logging and 
would constitute a very significant addition to Gabon's protected 
area network (McShane-Caluzi and McShane, 1990). It has been 
estimated that creation of a new reserve at Minkebe and improve- 
ment of conditions at Petit Loango (part of the Sette-Cama 
Reserve) would assure the protection of 40,000 elephants and this 



has been recommended by the CITES' Working Group on African 
Elephants (Anon., 1989). Other important new reserves are 
designed to protect the endemic sun-tailed guenon, the white- 
legged duiker, centres of floristic endemism in the Monts de Cristal 
and Mont Iboundji and areas of mangrove close to Libreville. 

There are encouraging signs that both national and international 
bodies are concerned with conservation issues in Gabon. An 
Ecology Party is one of the 40 political groups represented in the 
newly formed National Assembly Party. WWF is active in conser- 
vation projects while large development schemes with a strong con- 
servation element are planned by the EEC and the World Bank. 
The potential for ecosystem conservation still exists in Gabon 
(McShane, 1990), but if there is to be 'conservation before the 
crisis', action must not be too long delayed. 



References 

Anon. (1989) Plan d'Action pour I'EtephaiiL Document dii Groupe 

de Travail de la CITES mr V Elephant d'Afnque. 
Barret, G. (1983) L'exploitation forestiere. In: Geographic ct 

Cartographic dn Gabon, pp. 58-63. Paris, France. 
Blom, A., Alers, M. P. T. and Barnes, R. F. W. (1990) Gabon. 

In: Antelopes Global Sim'cy and Regional Action Plans. Part 3: 

West and Central Africa. East, R. (ed.). lUCN/SSC Antelope 

Specialist Group. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 
Caballe, G. (1978) Essai sur la geographic forestiere du Gabon. 

Adansonia Series 2 17(4): 425-40. 
Caballe, G. (1983) Vegetation. In: Gcogi-aptue ct Cartographic du 

Gabon, pp. 34-7. Atlas lUustre. EDICEF, Paris, France. 
CENAREST (1979) Liste des Vertebres de la Region de Makokou, 

Gabon. 
Descoings, B. (1974) Les Savanes du Moyen-Ogooue, Region de 

Booue, Gabon. CNRS/Centre d'Etudes Phytosociologiques et 

Ecologiques, Document 69, Montpellier, France. 
Diop, M. (1989) La Foret Gabonaise. Marches Tropicaux 15 

decembre 1989. 
FAO (1988) An Intcnni Report on the State of Forest Resources in 

the Developing Countries. FAO Rome, Italy. 18 pp. 
FAO (1991) FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 1978-1989. FAO 

Forestry Series No. 24 and FAO Statistics Series No. 97. FAO, 

Rome, Italy. 
Floret, J.-J., Louis, A. M. and Reitsma, J. M. (1989) Un 

Microdesmis (Pandaceae) a dix etamines decouvert en Afrique: 

M. afrodccandra sp. nov. Bulletin du Museum National d'Histoirc 

Naturelle, Pans 4th sene 11: 103-15. 
Pontes, J. (1978) Les formations herbeuse du Gabon. Annales de 

I'Universite Nationale du Gabon 2: 127-53. 
Halle, N. (1987) Cola lizae N. Halle (Sterculiaceae): Nouvelle 

espece du Moyen Ogooue (Gabon). Adansonia 3: 229-37. 
Harrison, M. J. S. (1988) A new species of guenon (genus 

CercopithecHs) from Gabon. Journal of Zoology/, London 215: 

561-75. 
Hladik, A. (1986) Donnees comparatives sur la richesse speci- 

fique et les structures des peuplements des forets tropicales 

d'Afrique et d'Amerique. In: Vertebres et Forets Tropicales 

Hunudcs d'Afrique et dAineiiquc. Gasc, J. P. (ed.). Museum 

National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 
Hladik, C. M. (1973) Alimentation et activite d'un groupe de 

chimpanzes reintroduit en foret Gabonaise. La Teire ct la Vie 

27: 343-413. 
McShane, T. O. (1990) Conservation before the crisis - an 

opportunity in Gabon. Oryx 24: 9-14. 



McShane-Caluzi, E. and McShane, T. O. (1990) Conservation 
Avant la Crise: Strategic pour la Consolation au Gabon. WWF, 
Washington, DC, USA and Gland, Switzerland. 

Michelmore, F., Beardsley, K., Barnes, R. and Douglas-Hamilton, 
I. (1989) Elephant population estimates for the Central 
African forests. In: The Ivory Trade and the Future of the African 
Elephant. Cobb, S. (ed.). Ivory Trade Review Group, 
International Development Centre, Oxford, UK. 

Nicoll, M. and Langrand, O. (1986) Conservation et Utilisation 
Rationelle des Ecosysteines Foresticrs du Gabon. lUCN/WWF, 
Gland, Switzerland. 

Reitsma, J. M. (1988) Forest vegetation of Gabon. Tropcnbos 
Technical Series 1. The Tropenbos Foundation, Ede, The 
Netherlands. 142 pp. 

Turin, C. E. G. and Fernandez, M. (1984) Nationwide census 
of gorilla (Gorilla g. gorilla) and chimpanzee (Pan t. troglodytes) 
populations in Gabon. American Journal of Priniatology 6: 
313-36. 

Tutin, C. E. G. and Fernandez, M. (1987) Gabon: a fragile sanc- 
tuary. Pnmate Conservation 8: 160-1. 

UICN ( 1 990) La Consen<ation des Ecosysteines foresticrs du Gabon. 
Base sur le travail de C. Wilks. UICN, Gland, Switzerland and 
Cambridge, UK. 215 pp. 

WCI (1989) The status of elephants in the forests of central 
Africa: results of a reconnaissance survey. In: The Ivory Trade 
and the Future of the African Elephant. Cobb, S. (ed.). Ivory 
Trade Review Group, International Development Centre, 
Oxford, UK. 

White, F. (1983) The Vegetation of Africa: a descriptive memoir to 
accompany the Unesco/AETFA T/UNSO vegetation map of Africa. 
Unesco, Paris, France. 356 pp. 

Authorship 

Caroline Tutin, Lope Reserve, Gabon, with contributions from 
Charles Doumenge, lUCN, Gland, G. Caballe, Montpellier, 
France Tom McShane, Erica McShane-Caluzi, WWF-US, A. 
Blom, WWF-Zaire and Richard Barnes, University of California. 

Map 19.1 Forest cover in Gabon 

There are no detailed published maps of existing vegetation for Gabon. Forest cover data 
and protected areas were taken from a 1:1 million generalised published map Gabon 
(1987) which was prepared by the Institut Geographique National - France, Paris, in col- 
laboration with the Institut National de Cartographic, Libreville. This map has been 
adapted to show areas of degraded forest as indicated on a sketch map in Caballe (1983). 
Ne\crthclcss the vegetation data on this map are general and the forest cover is likely to 
be more fragmented than shown on Map 19. 1, hence caution is necessary when quoting 
the statistics of forest extent which are derived from this map. 



174 



20 The Gambia and Senegal 



THE GAMBIA 

land area 10,000 sq km 

Population (mid- 1990) 9 million 

Population growth rate in 1990 2 6 pei cent 

Population projected to 2020 1 / million 

Gross national product per capita (1 988) USS220 

Roin forest (see mop) 49/ sq. km 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1 980)* 650 sq km 

Annual deforestation rate (1981-5)' 22 sq km 

Industrial roundwood productiont 2 1 ,000 cu m 

Industrial roundwood exportsf nd 

Fuelwood and charcoal productiont 901,000 (u m 

Processed wood productiont 1000 cu m 

Processed wood exportsf nd 



SENEGAL 

land area 1 92,530 sq km 

Population (mid- 1 990) / 4 million 

Population growth rote in 1 990 2 7 pei cent 

Population projected to 2020 1 5 2 million 

Gross national product per capita (1988) USS510 

Rain forest (see mop) 2045 sq km 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1 980)' 2200 sq. km 

Annual deforestation rote (1981-5)' 25 sq, km 

Industrial roundwood productiont 605,000 cu. m 

Industrial roundwood exportsf nd 

Fuelwood and charcoal productiont 3,736,000 cu m 

Processed wood productiont ' 1 ,000 cu m 

Processed wood exportst nd 

■ FA0(1988) 

f 1989()oloframFAO(1991i 




The Gambia is a tiny semi-enclave witliin the much larger country of Senegal on the west coast of Africa. In both coun- 
tries very little closed forest remains and that which does still exist is rapidly being lost or modified through a combination 
of increased population, bushfires, desertification, uncontrolled grazing and extensive forest exploitation. The landscape 
is dominated by open savanna, with small islands of relict closed forests in the moister south-western and western regions. 
The mangroves in The Gambia are the least disturbed remaining natural forest within that country. 

The small size of The Gambia, the intensity of cultivation there and the expansion in both the human population and 
livestock, exclude the possibility of establishing any large conservation areas in the country. At present only 1 per cent of 
land is protected. In Senegal, deforestation, fires and increasing desertification place natural ecosystems under great stress. 
The country possesses a varied fauna but outside the protected areas the ability of the land to support wildlife has been 
severely impaired. 



Introduction 

Senegal and The Gambia are the most westerly countries in Africa 
and cover a total land area of 202,530 sq. km (country areas are 
196,720 and 1 1,300 sq. km respectively). Senegal is bordered by 
arid Mauritania in the north and Mali in the east, and the more 
humid countries of Guinea-Bissau and Guinea in the south. The 
Gambia is a narrow strip of land on each bank of the River Gambia 
and is entirely enclosed by Senegal apart from its coastline on the 
Atlantic. It extends 320 km inland from the coast where its maxi- 
mum width of 45 km shrinks to only 7-15 km either side of the 
river. Senegal stretches from 12°30'-16°30'Nand 11°20'-17°10'W 
and The Gambia runs along 13°30'N from 13°53'-16°50'W. 
Before the Trans-Gambia Highway was opened in 1958, The 
Gambia and its river had isolated the Casamance region in the 
south of Senegal from the rest of the country. 

The Gambia is essentially the valley of the navigable Gambia 
River. The coast is one of submergence and the river valley is on 
a low sandstone plain - no part of the country exceeds 100 m asl. 
Away from the river in the west, there are sandy hills separated by 
flat, sandy plains, while in the east higher land prevails between 
tributaries of the river (Hughes and Hughes, 1991). Senegal com- 
prises monotonous plains, the floodplains of ancient river systems, 
with most of the land below 100 m. Only small areas in the east 
and extreme south-east reach 500 m. 

Both countries are characterised by a tropical monsoon climate, 
with a long and severe dry season from November to May - dom- 
inated by the dry Harmattan wind from the Sahara - and a wet sea- 



son from June to October. Annual precipitation decreases from 
south to north. For instance, in Senegal, 200 mm fall per year in 
the Bakel region in the north and 1500-1600 mm per year at 
Ziguinchor in the south. Precipitation comes mainly from the 
south-westerly monsoon. Consequently, in comparison to The 
Gambia, Senegal has a contracted rainy season and reduced pre- 
cipitation in the northern arid zone and a longer rainy season in 
the south (May-October). Duration of the wet season and annual 
precipitation are variable, with the present trend being a reduction 
in rainfall. In The Gambia in 1965, when there was still good for- 
est cover, precipitation in the capital city of Banjul was 1240 mm; 
in the past 20 years the mean level (measured between 1982 and 
1988) has almost halved to 650 mm. This has had obvious effects 
on the ecology of the region. Mean monthly temperatures are gen- 
erally between 25"C and 30^C while temperatures inland may 
exceed 40°C in the hottest months of April and May. 

The population of Senegal and The Gambia is mainly rural - 
60 per cent of Senegal's population and 82 per cent of The 
Gambia's live in the countryside. With a population of around 
900,000, The Gambia is one of the most densely populated coun- 
tries in Africa. Most people live in small villages fairly evenly scat- 
tered throughout the country. The population is greatest on the 
south bank of the river and this area has better developed com- 
munications and infrastructure and larger settlements. Population 
density in Senegal is less than half that of The Gambia, but the rate 
of growth of the urban population in Senegal is one of the highest 



175 



The Gambia and Senegal 



on the continent (FAOAJNEP, 1981). In Senegal the inhabitants 
are spread unevenly across the country: there are ver>' few people 
in the east, while Casamance, Louga, Fleuve and Sine Saloum 
provinces are ven,' heavily populated. 

Senegal was the first countrv- in the region to introduce ground- 
nut cultivation and, by independence in 1960, the country' was 
heavily dependent on the crop. France helped to suppon this 
pattern in its former colony, by providing price subsidies for 
Senegalese groundnuts. They remain the most imponant crop and 
are grown in about 40 per cent of the cultivated land area. 
However, exports, which accounted for 50 per cent of export earn- 
ings in 1976, now account for less than 20 per cent. The govern- 
ment is promoting agricultural cooperatives as a means of improv- 
ing production. Such an approach seems to be acceptable in 
Senegal because property is traditionally owned by the tribe, with 
the chief assigning land to a family or group of families depending 
on their needs and ability. There are now about 2200 cooperatives 
in operation, of which 1700 are engaged in groundnut cultivation 
(USAID, 1982). Large-scale clearance of indigenous vegetation 
for groundnut and millet cultivation is thought by some people to 
be a major factor in the increasing aridity of the north, a trend that 
is aggravated by tree felling for timber and charcoal burning. 
Tourism, cotton and marine fisheries are now becoming impor- 
tant to the economy. 

In The Gambia, the principal crop is again the groundnut which 
furnishes 95 per cent of export revenues. Rice is the staple food 
crop, with maize, manioc, fruits and vegetables cultivated on a 
small scale. 

TTie Forests 

The rain forests of southern Senegal and The Gambia are at the 
north-western limit of this biome in Africa, as the long dry season 
militates against the development of typical rain forest. However, 
because of high rainfall during the wet season and a high water- 
table during the dry season, particularly in the coastal plain of Basse 
Casamance, Guineo-Congolian forest species have been able to 
extend their range into this area (White, 1983). Sudanian savanna 
woodland predominates, with small areas of evergreen lowland 
forests in the west of The Gambia and south and west of Senegal. 

The Gambia Most of the closed moist forest in The Gambia is 
mangrove, which penetrates deep along the Gambia River and its 
tributaries. In addition, there were some scattered riparian forests 
along streams, above the tidal waters of the river. These contained 
commercial species such as mahogany Khaya senegalensis and iroko 
Chlorophora regia as well as Paniian excelsa, Detarium senegalense, 
Dialntm gianeense and Eryihrophkiim gutiteense (FAOAJNEP, 1981). 
In the past 15 years, most of the broadleaved trees have been lost. 
The Abuko Nature Reserve, in the west, houses The Gambia's last 
remnant of npanan forest (45 ha) with more than 50 tree species 
protected there. The most notable are the cabbage tree Anthodeista 
procera, Piliostigina bilboa, Ficus spp., Parkia bigtobosa, Pannari excelsa, 
oil palm Elaeis gumeensis, Raphia palm and rattan palm Calamus 
deeralus. Lianas are well developed under the canopy. 

Senegal Most of Senegal is savanna country. The transition from 
arid to more humid climate vegetation occurs at roughly the 
750 mm isohyet (USAID, 1982). On both sides of that line, 
however, the existence of forest species is determined mainly by 
the presence or absence of depressions where water can 
accumulate, and by the amount of grazing activity. There are some 
remnants of lowland tropical rain forest in the southernmost region, 
Casamance, which give a picture of the once more extensive moist 



forests. Pannari excelsa was abundant in swamp forest in 
depressions and in drier forest on better-drained soils; drier forest 
species include Eiyihrophleiim suaveolens, Deranum senegalense, 
Afzelia afncana and Khaya senegalensis. Among the rarer species 
are Albizia adianrhifoha, A. femtginea, A. zygia, Antiaris toxicaria, 
Chlorophora regia. Cola cordifoUa, Datiiellia ogea, Dialium guineense, 
Monts mesozygia, Schrebera arborea and Sterculia tragacantha 
(VChite, 1 983). The canopy ofthe Basse Casamance forest is 18-20 
m high and is made up of large trees with abundant lianas. This is 
the wettest part ofthe country and in the past there were large areas 
of moist seasonal riparian forest along the banks ofthe Casamance 
River. These have all but disappeared and are reduced to degraded 
copses of mature trees. The Basse Casamance National Park (50 
sq. km) contained the best example of seasonal moist forest, and 
still contains mangrove, the last vestiges of moist forest and climax 
Guinea-woodland. 

Mangroves 

Mangroves are present in both countries, but are of particular note 
in The Gambia, where they are the most pristine remaining natu- 
ral habitat in that country. FAO estimated that 600 sq. km 
occurred in The Gambia and 1620 sq. km in Senegal at the end of 
1980(FAO/UNEP, 1981). Map 20.1 gives the slightly lower area 
of 497 sq. km in The Gambia and the higher figure of 1853 sq. km 
in Senegal. 

The Gambia A nearly continuous belt of mangroves exists along 
The Gambia River from its mouth at Banjul to 1 50 km inland. The 
dominant species are red mangrove Rhizophora racemosa, white 
mangrove Avicennia nilida and Laguncularia racemosa. These reach 
a height of at most only five metres for the first 25 km upstream 
but, further up river, they can grow as tall as 1 5-20 m, supporting 
nesting colonies of many large bird species. The mangroves are 
best developed at the mouths of small tributaries, while upstream 
the tallest forest, comprising Rhizophora spp., occurs as a narrow 
strip backed by low open woodland of Avicennia africana. On the 
north bank of the Gambia River an extensive mangrove block of 
some 80 sq. km occurs in the Salikene district. Tall mangroves 
occur at the mouths of the Jurunkku and Mini Minium Bolons in 
a continuous forest block which spreads upstream for 30 km. 

Away from the capital most mangrove stands are largely intact. 
However, at present the only protected area on the Gambia River 
is the Gambia River National Park. Here a group of five islands is 
protected. Some mangrove swamp and lagoons are also protected 
in the Kiang National Park on the south bank ofthe Gambia River. 
Hunting occurs in the riverine wetlands and many species are 
taken; the Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloiicus and hippopotamus 
Hippopotamus amphibius have been hunted almost to the point of 
extinction and are both endangered in The Gambia. 

Senegal Mangroves in Senegal occupy the estuaries and channels 
of seawater which penetrate deep into the territory all along the 
coast. These do not differ from other mangroves of West Africa, 
the main species being Rhizophora mangle, R. racemosa, R. 
hamsonii, Avicennia afncana, Lagunculana racemosa and 
Conocarpiis erectus. A large area of mangrove, 620 sq. km (UN, 
1987), exists on the south-west coast. The Saloum River and its 
delta are also important sites for mangroves. In total the delta 
wetlands cover 1 500 sq. km, some 70 per cent of which is mangrove 
forest (Hughes and Hughes, 1991). The Saloum Delta National 
Park occupies 720 sq. km of the delta. The delta stretches along 
the coast for a distance of 72.5 km and reaches 35 km inland, while 
mangrove swamps extend almost 70 km upstream to Kaolack. 



176 



The Gambia and Senegal 



South of the main river channel there is a network of cross- 
connecting streams weaving between mangrove-covered mud 
islands, with only small areas above high tide level. Marine tunles 
are present and Campbell's monkey Cercopiihecus campbelh and 
colobus monkeys are found in the forest trees. 

There are plans for industrial development and expansion of nee 
in the area. In the past 1 5 years several anti-salt barrages have been 
constructed along the coast to prevent high-tide inundation. As a 
result large areas of mangrove have died. The building of roads 
across the mouths of mangrove creeks has had the same effect in 
many areas of Casamance. In both Senegal and The Gambia the 
intensification of agriculture and the destruction of natural river- 
ine wetlands have brought the problem of increased erosion and 
siltation. 

Forest Resources and Management 

The Gambia In The Gambia, at the end of 1980, FAO estimated 
that 650 sq. km of closed broadleaved forest remained 
(FAOAJNEP, 1981). This figure is somewhat higher than that 
given by Map 20.1, where all remaining forest is shown as 
mangrove. There are no substantial areas of closed dryland forest 
remaining. Management of the forests is the responsibility of the 
Forestry Department, by way of land gazetted as 'forest parks'. All 
other forest land is communal, for there is no pnvately owned forest. 
However, the government may make regulations for the protection, 
control and management of any forest park and make regulations 
for areas outside such parks. Prohibited activities on land outside 
forest parks include: the cutting of firewood; the collection of fibre, 
rubber, palm nuts, palm kernels or gum; conversion of wood to 
charcoal; the extraction of palm wine, and quarrying. Traditional 
chiefs are responsible for protecting land under their jurisdiction 
from the ravages of bush or forest fires, but fire remains a serious 
problem. 

The Gambia's 66 forest parks cover a total of 340 sq. km and 
management, in the form of boundary maintenance, fire protec- 
tion and early burning, is the responsibility of Area Councils 
(FAOAJNEP, 1981). Parker (1973) suggested that the forest parks 
should be considered as potential wildlife conservation units, so 
that further land is not put out of bounds to the population; they 
could form the basis of a conservation system that would ensure 
the survival of representative habitats. This, however, has not 
occurred. Some of the forest parks are protection forests, many are 
surrounded by barbed wire, and felling, burning, grazing and hunt- 
ing are all prohibited within them. Despite this, there appears to 
be a thriving trade in the haulage of charcoal and wood both ways 
across the borders and a limited amount of fuelwood collection, 
hunting and grazing does occur. Forest plantations are also estab- 
lished within The Gambia's forest parks. Management objectives 
include production of timber trees (mostly Gmelina), bamboo 
Oxytenanlhera abyssinica and palms Borassus aethiopum. 

FAO estimated that 21,000 cu. m of industrial roundwood was 
produced in 1989, none of which was exported (FAO, 1991). 
Trees are rarely felled for local fuel use (dead wood is collected by 
women and children), but they may be commercially poached on 
a small scale. Charcoal remains the principal domestic fuel 
although its manufacture is now prohibited; FAO estimated 
(1991) that in 1989, 901,000 cu. m of charcoal and fuelwood were 
used. 

Senegal According to FAOAJNEP (1981), closed broadleaved 
forest covered 2200 sq. km of Senegal at the end of 1980 (1.1 per 
cent ofthe land area). Just 130 sq. kmof this total was dense forest 
(20 sq. km protected in Basse Casamance National Park), 



Table 20.1 Estimates of forest extent in The Gambia and 
Senegal 



Area (sq. km) % of land area 



GAMBIA 

Rainforests 
Mangrove 

Totals 

SENEGAL 

Rain forests 
Lowland 
Mangrove 



497 
497 



192 
1,853 



5.0 
5.0 



0.1 
1.0 



Totals 2,045 1.1 

(Based on analysis of Map 20.1, See Map legend on p. 182 for details of sources.) 



450 sq. km was riparian forest (170 sq. km protected in Niokolo- 
Koba National Park) and 1620 sq. km was mangrove. Map 20.1 
shows a slighriy lower total area of closed forest but this figure does 
not include riparian forest. It indicates 1 92 sq. km of dryland forest 
and 1 853 sq. km ofmangroves, giving a total of 2045 sq. km. There 
IS no moist forest north ofthe River Gambia, apart from mangrove. 
Most of the broadleaved forests have now been felled to provide 
timber, fuel or new agricultural land. Extraction has been selective 
in some areas, leaving, for instance, the commercially important 
oil palm Elaeis giimeensis in place. There are also vast areas of open 
palm plantations with cash crops underplanted in the wet season. 
There has been some reforestation in the Casamance region with 
small-scale teak plantations of a few hundred to a thousand 
hectares, and between the Gambian border and the Casamance 
River there are commercial stands oi Eucalyptus. 

There are 197 'classified' forests in Senegal covering an area of 
39,000 sq. km, or 20 per cent of the country. The government 
forestry programme has five aims: 

• Forest protection and management, including bushfire control, 
reserve protection, management of existing forests and creation 
of a botanical garden. 

• Agrarian and pastoral land reform, including reforestation in the 
Senegal Delta and management of grazing in forest areas. 

• Reforestation for production of teak, Gmelina and cashew 
Anacardium occidenlale and gum trees. 

• Reforestation for environmental protection and fuelwood pro- 
duction, by stabilising and protecting sand dunes, establishing 
plantations for fuelwood, encouraging reforestation around 
urban centres, creating village woodlots and plantations along 
roads. 

• Establishing a wildlife programme, including providing equip- 
ment to support the management of national parks and 
hunting zones (USAID, 1982). 

Six categories of forest have been distinguished (FAOAJNEP, 
1981): forest reserves (forets domaniales classees) where hunting 
and forest exploitation is prohibited; managed forests (forets 
domaniales amenagees) for the production of fuelwood and char- 
coal; the Noflaye Botanical Reserve where there is total protection 
of flora and fauna; wildlife reser\'es (reserves de faune), where 
hunting is prohibited, and finally, hunting reserves (zones d'interet 
cynegetique), where hunting is allowed. However, grazing and 
felling are widespread in all these categories. 



177 



The Gambia and Senegal 




178 



The Gambia and Senegal 



Deforestation 

The Gambia There are no areas of closed forest which have not 
been modified by humans. Most of The Gambia's closed 
broadleaved forests have disappeared over the past 1 5 years or so 
and the country is now mainly degraded open wooded savanna. 
Virtually all the original climax riparian forest has been cleared to 
the east of Kudang, although large areas of mangrove are still intact. 
Other than mangroves, dense forests are now restricted to riparian 
forests along the banks of the main steams, with these disappearing 
at a rate of 2 sq. km per year at the end of 1980 (FAOAJNEP, 
1981). Overall, during 1981-5, FAO estimated annual 
deforestation for closed broadleaved forests to be 22 sq. km (3.4 
per cent) (FAO, 1988). Bushfires are a problem (Starin, 1989), 
particularly as post-harvest farm bums are often poorly controlled 
and during the Harmattan season these frequently spread beyond 
village boundaries. Overgrazing by domestic stock and a lowered 
water table prevents regeneration, especially of species adapted to 
high water tables such as oil palm, swamp palm and the cabbage 
tree. Many of the largest riparian trees and the oil palms in Abuko 
Nature Reserve have died in the past five years; this is probably 
due to the drop in the water table. 

Senegal The increase in population and demand for fuelwood and 
other wood products in Senegal has led to clearance of forested 
land, and indeed the moist forest is largely reduced to degraded 
copses of mature trees. It has been replaced by huge areas of open 
palm savanna, underplanted with cash crops. In 1988 the Food 
and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) 
estimated that deforestation of broadleaved closed forest had 
occurred at an annual rate of 25 sq. km (2.5 percent) for the period 
1981-5. Bushfires have accelerated the process of deforestation. 
When these occur, the grasses and fire-resistant species survive, 
whereas the original forest trees are killed. Grasses are especially 
well adapted to colonise sandy soils and are more tolerant of dry 
conditions than the forest species. As a result of the fires and of 
shifting agriculture, extensive grasslands have become established 
in the once forested regions. These are dominated by Pamcum 
maximum, Pennisetum piirpweum and Imperata cyluidnca. Human 
migration is also a serious problem. The Casamance region is the 
wettest and most fertile part of the country and earns revenue from 
tourism as well as from agriculture. People with different cultures 
and agricultural practices from the north of Senegal and from Mali 
have migrated to this region, a movement that has increased the 
demand for land and had a deleterious effect on the surviving 
forests. 

Biodiversity 

The great range of habitats in Senegal, from semi-desert in the 
north to degraded moist forest, mangrove and deltaic formations 
in the south, explains the richness of the country's flora compared 
to other Sahelian states. Senegal has a flora of approximately 2200 
species (Berhaut, 1976) of which 26 are endemic (Davis et at., 
1986). The Gambia has around 530 plant species, including three 
endemics (Davis el at., 1986). 

Most larger mammals have disappeared from The Gambia but 
approximately 108 species of mammals still occur (Stuart et at., 
1991). These include the hippopotamus, three species of duiker 
Cephaloplius spp., bushbuck Tragclaplius scnpiiis, Temminck's red 
colobus monkey Procotobus fhadiiisj badiiis lemiiiiiielni, red patas 
monkey Erylitwcebus patas, Campbell's monkey and serval Fein 
servat. None is endemic. Some tropical forest species such as 
forest genet Genelta pardina are found at the northernmost limit of 
their distribution. Several species do not breed in the country but 



occasionally visit from Senegal: for example, lion Pantliera tea and 
roan antelope Hippotragiis eqiiinm. 

Large mammals in Senegal are confined mainly to the national 
parks. There are very few endemics or globally threatened species. 
Some extinctions have occurred within the country: for instance, 
the giraffe Giraffa cametapardatis no longer occurs. Approximately 
169 mammal taxa are recorded here. In Senegal, in addition to 
species listed for The Gambia, other noteworthy mammals include 
leopard Paiilliera pardiis, hunting dog Lycaoii pictiis, common eland 
Tragelaplnis oryx, western black-and-white colobus Colobus potylto- 
mos and chimpanzee Pan troglodytes (Stuart et at., 1991). The ele- 
phant Loxodonta afncana population in Senegal was reduced by 
poachers to about 20-40 in 1989, and in fact wildlife rangers pre- 
dicted their extinction during the next rainy season because, at this 
time of the year, protection from poachers cannot be provided. 
Smaller mammals present in the country include Beecroft's flying 
squirrel Animaturops beecrofti, Libyan striped weasel Poeeitictis 
libyca, dark mongoose Crossarehus obscurus and giant ground pan- 
golin Mains giganlea. 

Around 490 species of birds have been recorded in The Gambia 
and 625 species for Senegal (Stuan et at., 1991). No threatened 
bird species are listed in Collar and Stuart (1985) for either coun- 
try. In Senegal, the martial eagle Potemaetus belticosus, bateleur 
eagle Teratliopius ecaudatus, greater flamingo Plwemeopterus ruber, 
tree ducks Dendrocygna spp. and the royal tern Sterna maxima are 
noteworthy (Serle et at., 1977). The wetland and mangrove areas 
in both countries have very rich avifaunas. 

Forty-six reptiles are known from The Gambia and 57 from 
Senegal. In The Gambia the slender-snouted crocodile Crocodylus 
cataptiractus has disappeared in the past decade and the dwarf 
crocodile Osteotaemus letraspis survives only at Abuko Nature 
Reserve (see case study). The coastal skink Cliatcides anmtagei is 
the only vertebrate endemic to The Gambia although it is likely to 
occur in similar habitats in Senegal. Several species of snake 
recorded at Abuko (Hakansson, 1981) are not otherwise known 
north of the forests of Guinea. In Senegal, all three African 
crocodiles are still present, although both the dwarf crocodile and 
slender-snouted crocodile are close to extinction. All of the 
amphibian species recorded in The Gambia (26) and Senegal (29), 
belong to the savanna faunal assemblage of Schiotz (1967); none 
is a closed forest animal. 

Conservation Areas 

Two departments deal with conservation in The Gambia: the 
Wildlife Conservation Depanment which is responsible for park 
and reserve administration, and the Forestry Department which 
protects the forest parks. In Senegal, the National Parks 
Directorate is the responsibility of the Ministry of Tourism and 
Nature Protection, while areas other than national parks are 
administered by the Direction des Eaux, Forets et Chasses (lUCN, 
1987). The conservation areas of the two countries are listed in 
Table 20.2. 

Tlie Gambia The protected areas system here dates back to 1916 
when the main part of Abuko Nature Reserve was protected as a 
water catchment area. Abuko was given nature reserve status in 
1968 and extended by about 29 ha to its current size (107 ha) in 
1978 (Edberg, 1982). In that same year, the Gambia River National 
Park was created, while the other two protected areas, namely 
Gambia Saloum/Niumi and Kiang West National Parks^ were 
designated in 1987. Now a total of 1 per cent of the country is 
incorporated into protected areas. All 66 of the country's forest 
parks were created in 1955. 



179 



The Gambia and Senegal 

Table 20.2 Conservation areas for The Gambia and Senegal 

Existing and proposed areas are listed below. Forest parks and 
classified forests are not included. For data on Biosphere reserves 
and World Heritage sites see chapter 9. 



Existing area 
(sq. km) 
THE GAMBIA 
National Parks 

Gambia River (Baboon Island) 6 

Gambia Saloum/Niumi 20 

KiangWest* 100 

Nature Reserves 

Abuko 1 



Total 



127 



SENEGAL 




National Parks 




Basse-Casamance* 


50 


Delta du Saloum* 


760 


Djoudj 


160 


lies de la Madeleine 


5 


Langue de Barbarie* 


20 


Niokolo-Kobaf 


9,130 


Faunal Reserves 




Dindefello** 




Ferlo-Nord 


4,870 


Ferlo-Sud 


6,337 


Gueumbeul Special** 


8 


Ndiael 


466 


Popenguine Special 


10 


Special Reserves 




Kalissaye* 


16 


Kassel* 




Hunting Reserves 




Maka-Diamaf 


600 


Others 




Elephants du Fleuve** 




Faleme** 




Senegambien** 





Totals 



22,432 



Proposed area 
(sq. km) 



nd 
nd 
nd 



(Sources: lUCN, 19Q0; WCMC, m Im.) 

* Area with moist forest within its boundary according to Map 20.1. 

t Area not shown on IMap 20. 1 but given on Figure 20. 1 .. 

nd No data available. 

** Area not mapped as no location data available. 



The Abuko Nature Reserve supports the last few hectares of ripar- 
ian forest, and houses many species of plants and animals that have 
all but disappeared from the rest of the country (see case study). The 
reserve comprises remnant gallery forest and a recent extension of 
regenerating open wooded savanna. The water table at Abuko has 
fallen markedly in the past decade. This has resulted in the reduc- 
tion of surface water available for the wildlife and many of the largest 
gallery forest trees and oil palms have died. It is unlikely that this last 
remaining stand of forest will survive for long, in spite of its com- 
plete protection. The River Gambia National Park, a group of five 
islands, also supports a mature riparian forest fringe and is the site 
of a long-term (about 1 5 years) chimpanzee rehabilitation project. 
There are already 40 chimpanzees on the islands and this is the 
probable carrying capacity of their habitat. The effect of such a high 
ape density on the islands' plant and other animal life is not known 
(Starin, 1989). Kiang West, south of the River Gambia, contains 
mangroves, seasonal marsh and open wooded savanna. 

In addition, a degree of protection is provided by the forest parks 
in The Gambia although the prohibitions preventing felling, burn- 
ing, grazing and hunting are not always adhered to. The most 
closely studied forest park in The Gambia is Pirang which is only 
64 ha. This, and the coastal forest at Bijilo (50 ha), are the sole 
representatives of original climax vegetation outside protected 
areas. Pirang acts as an important refuge for species such as 
Temminck's red colobus, vervet Cercopuhecus aethiops, and red 
patas monkey and is the only place where the Guinea baboon Papio 
papio is safe from hunters. The better maintained parks, nearer the 
capital, are mostly converted to Gmetma plantations. 

Senegal In 1925 Niokolo-Koba National Park was established and 
since then another five parks have been gazetted (Dupuy and 
Verschuren, 1977). Approximately 12 per cent of Senegal's land area 
is protected. Its conservation areas include Biosphere reserves at 

Apart from mangroves. The Gambia contains very little closed 
moist forest . I. and D. Gordon 







180 



The Gambia and Senegal 



Dwarf Crocodile Project in the Abuko Nature Reserve 

The Abuko Nature Reserve contains the last population of the 
endangered dwarf crocodile Ostcolaemus telraspis in The 
Gambia, which is the nonhernmost limit of its distribution. The 
virtual disappearance of O. telraspis, down to 12-15 adults in 
1988, is mamly due to forest loss and the resultant depletion of 
their breeding habitat, pools in gallery forest. The Gambian 
Wildlife Conservation Department has initiated a programme 
to halt the decline of the crocodiles with the development of an 
intricate irrigation scheme. 

Since 1981-2, decline in the water table had prevented the nor- 
mal pattern of forest floor flooding which the dwarf crocodile 
requires in order to breed. Bristol University carried out a census 
of the population in 1988/9 and all the crocodiles recorded were 
mature adults, bom before 1981-2 and there had been no appar- 
ent recruitment since then. At the request of the Gambian 
Wildlife Conservation Department, the scientists from Bristol 
University devised an irrigation scheme to increase the surface 
water available to the breeding crocodiles. This involved the con- 
struction of a deep-bore pump to reach the lowered water table 
and extensive subsurface piping throughout the reserve to irrigate 
pools constructed or renovated for the crocodiles. In addition 
each new pool had a 3-4 m long, 45 cm diameter tunnel dug lead- 
ing down from one bank to act as refuges for the crocodiles. 

Osleolaemus adopted the irrigated natural and anificial pools at 
the start of the 1989 wet season, three months after construction. 
There was a combination of unaltered natural pools, new pools 
and dry pools panially filled with the extra water. Imgated pools, 
already well established with dead leaves, tree roots and plants 
colonising the banks, were in use approximately six weeks before 
unaltered pools had filled. The first successfLil breeding took place 
during the 1989 wet season and a census in 1990 revealed that a 
minimum of seven juveniles had survived their first year. 




Further suitable habitat for the West African dwarf crocodile Osteolaemus 
tetraspis is being created at Abuko Nature Reserve, which is the only place 
in Gambia zvhere this species still occurs. E. Dragesco/WWF 

The irrigation scheme also helped take the pressure off other 
species within the reserve, as the loss of small bodies of surface 
water had forced mammals and birds to drink and bathe at the 
larger permanent pools inhabited by Nile crocodiles, probably 
leading to the local increase in the predation on species such as 
sitatunga Tragelophus spekii. Over 100 vertebrate species use the 
smaller pools including red colobus, vervet and red patas mon- 
key, north African crested porcupine Hystnx cnsiata, turacos, 
monitor lizards and forest cobras Naja melanokuca. 

It seems that the irrigation scheme has been successful for O. 
tetraspis, at least in the short term. By slightly modifying the 
crocodiles' natural environment to reinstate former hydrologi- 
cal cycles, breeding has recommenced after an eight-year break. 



Niokola-Koba National Park, Samba Dia Classified Forest and Saloum 
Delta National Park and three Worid Heritage sites: Djoudj National 
Bird Sanctuary, the Island of Goree and Niokolo-Koba National Park. 
Four of the protected areas contain some moist forest (see Table 20.2) . 

The 50 sq. km Basse-Casamance National Park, established in 
1 970, contains the best example of seasonally moist forest. Located 
in the extreme south of the country, the park incorporates man- 
groves at its west end and Guinea-woodland, savanna and sec- 
ondary forest throughout the rest of its area. However, many of the 
largest emergent trees have died in recent years and the surround- 
ing buffer zone has been modified by felling and grazing. As a result 
most of the park's larger mammal species seem to have declined. 
More than 50 species of mammal have been recorded including 
leopard, buffalo Syncems caffer, Campbell's monkey, Demidoff s 
galago Galagoides demidoff, Temminck's red colobus, giant pan- 
golin and the threatened manatee Trichechus senegalensis 
(IUCNAJNEP, 1987). 

Niokolo-Koba National Park is the other protected area in the 
country containing moist forest, but this is all riparian forest and not, 
therefore, included in the forest statistics. Its position is indicated on 
Figure 20. 1 because Map 20. 1 does not cover the eastern section of 
Senegal. The park is mostly covered by savanna, but also supports 
seasonal swamp, bamboo, patches of climax Guinea-woodland, 
riparian forest with lianas and tree species such as Raphia sudanica, 
Baissea multiflora, and Dalbergia saxatilis. The park is watered by the 
River Gambia and its Niokolo-Koba and Koulountou tributaries, 
which suppon well developed but narrow stands of gallery forest. 



Figure 20.1 Location of Nikola- Koba National Park in eastern 

Senegal. (Somce: WCMC, in lilt.) 




181 



The Gambia and Senegal 



Initiatives for Conservation 

Both countries have received considerable amounts of aid in con- 
nection with various anti-desertification programmes that focused 
on village-level forestr>' and associated rural development activi- 
ties. In addition, in the Casamance region of Senegal, Canada has 
supported projects to bring forests under sustained yield manage- 
ment. An interesting initiative is an attempt to involve local 
people in the management of the Bakov and Mahen Forest 
Reser\'es which together cover 1000 sq. km. Canada has also sup- 
ported a major programme to control bushfires in Casamance over 
the past decade. 



lUCN has supported wetland conservation activities in Senegal 
by providmg advice on the management of the Djoudj and Saloum 
Delta National Parks and by conducting trainmg courses. A 
National Conser\-ation Strategy was initiated in Senegal several 
years ago and there are now plans to complete the strategy for 
adoption by the government. A forest sector study is under prepa- 
ration as a preliminary to a Tropical Forestry Action Plan (TFAP). 

Various small-scale conservation initiatives have been supported 
by NGOs in The Gambia. There is also interest in an Environmental 
Action Plan which would be supported by the World Bank and The 
Gambian authorities are negotiating with FAO to develop a TFAP. 



References 

Berhaut, J. (1976) La flare illustrcc du Senega/. XI volumes. 

Dakar. 
Collar, N. J. and Stuart, S. N. (1985) Threareiied Birds of Africa 

and Related Islands. The ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book Parr I. 

ICBP/IUCN, Cambridge, UK. 761 pp. 
Davis, S. D., Droop, S. J. M., Gregerson, P., Henson, L., Leon, 

C. J., Villa-Lobos, J. L., Synge, H. and Zantovska, J. 

(1986) Plants m Danger: [\lial do zve know? lUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 461 pp. 
Dupuy, A. R. and Verschuren, J. (1977) Wildlife and parks m 

Senegal. On-.v XIV: 36-46. 
Edberg, E. (1982) A Naturalists' Guide to The Gambia. J. G. 

Sanders. 46 pp. 
FAO (1988) An Interim Report on the Stare of Forest Resources in 

the Developing Countries. FAO, Rome, Italy. 18 pp. 
FAO (1991) FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 1978-1989. FAO 

Forestry Series No. 24 and FAO Statistics Series No. 97. FAO, 

Rome, Italy. 
FAO/UNEP (1981) Tropical Forest Resources Assessment Project. 

Forest Resources of Tropical Africa. Part II Counriy Briefs. FAO, 

Rome, Italy. 586 pp. 
Hakansson, N. T. (1981) An annotated checklist of reptiles 

known to occur in The Gambia. Journal of Hcrpctology' 15: 

155-61. 
Hughes, R. H. and Hughes, J. S. (1991) A Direeroiy of 

Afrorropieal W'erlands. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and 

Cambridge, UK/UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya/WCMC, Cambridge, 

UK. 
lUCN (1987) lUCN Directoiy of Afrotropical Prorccred Areas. 

lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. xix + 1043 pp. 
lUCN (1990) 1990 Lhiired Nations List of National Parks and 

Prorccred Areas. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, 

UK. 275 pp. 
Parker, I. S. C. (1973) Prospects of Wildlife Conservation in The 

Gambia. A Consultant Report to the Foreign and 

Commonwealth Office. ODA's Project for a Land Resource of 

The Gambia. Unpublished manuscript distributed within The 

Gambia. 
Schiotz, A. (1967) The treefrogs (Rhacopharidae) of West 

Africa. Spolia cooligica Miisei Haiinicnsis 25: 1-346. 



Serie, W., Morel, G. J. and Hartwig, W. ( 1 977) A Field Guide to 

the Birds of West Africa. Collins, London, UK. 
Starin, E. D. (1989) Threats to the monkeys of The Gambia. 

Ona 23: 208-14. 
Stuart, S. N., Adams, R. J. and Jenkins, M. D. 

(1991) Biodiversity of Sub-Sabaran Africa and irs Islands: 

Consewation, Management and Sustainable Use. Occasional 

Papers of the lUCN Species Survival Commission No. 6. 

lUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 
UN (1987) Inventaire de Forets en Casamance et en Senegal 

Onenral er Amenagemeiir de Forers Classees. FO:DP/SEN/82I027 . 

FAO, Rome, Italy. 
USAID (1982) Gambia-Senegal: A Country Profile. Country 

Profiles - USAID (Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance). 123 

pp. 
White, F. (1983) The Vegetation of Africa: a descriptive memoir to 

accompany rhe Unesco/AETFAT/UNSO I'egerarion map ofAfnea. 

Unesco, Paris, France. 356 pp. 

Authorship 

Scott Jones, Bristol University. 



Map 20.1 Forest cover in The Gambia and Senegal 
Information on rain forests in The Gambia and Senegal is taken from a digital 
map entitled Ran);c and Forest Resourees of Senegal at a 1:1 million scale (n.d.). 
The map was prepared for the US Agency for International Development 
(USAID) by the US Geological Sur\'ey, National .Mapping Division, EROS 
Data Center. The digital map is based on a generalisation of the Map of 
I 'cgclalioti Coz'cr from the report entitled Alappmg and Rcntorc Scnsmg of the 
Resources of the Repnbhe of Senegal (1980) prepared by the Remote Sensing 
Institute, South Dakota State University under contract to USAID, for 
Senegal's Direction of Land Use Planning, Ministry of Interior (unseen). The 
map was compiled from the interpretation of Landsat imagery of ditTerent dates 
and from extensive ground sur\-eys. In this Atlas only the 'Forests' and 
'Mangroves' datasets were digitised out of the 31 rangeland and forest types 
shown. This map was kindly made available to the proieci by the EDC 
International Projects department of the EROS Data Center. 

Protected areas for The Gambia are mapped from a 1:350,000 (c.) Tourist 
Information and Guide Map Tlie Gambia (1987). Protected areas for Senegal 
are digitised from a 1 : 1 million Institut Geographique National map Senegal 
and from spatial data held within files at W'CMC. 



182 



21 Ghana 



Landorea 230,020 sq. km 






^ "? 




Population (mid- 1 990) 1 S million 


■/-^ <_ 




Populotion growth rate in 1 990 3 1 per cent 


J 




Population projected to 2020 33 9 million 


/^ 




Gross notional product per capita (1988) USS400 


/ 




Rainforest (see map) 15,542 -,': It" 






Closed broadleaved forest (end 1 980) ' 1 7, 1 80 sq. km 


c. 




Annual deforestolion rate (1981-5)' 220 sq. km 


\ 




Industrial roundwood productiont 1 , 1 01 ,000 (u. m 


\_ V-s 




Industrial roundwood exportsf 201,000 cu. m 
Fuelwood ond charcoal productiont 16,068,000 (u. m 






■ ( .^ 


Processed wood productiont 590,000 cu. m 


V 




Processed wood exportst 1 70,000 cu. m 

t 1989dolofiomF40(199l) 















Present-day Ghana covers the area of the ancient Ashanti kingcioms of pre-colonial Africa. They were among the most 
developed civilisations of the forest belt and traded gold for salt produced in mines in the Sahara to the north. Ghana's 
forests were thus probably subject to relatively intense human influences several centuries before those of other parts of 
Africa. Ghana attained independence on 6 March 1957 but suffered serious economic decline in the post-independence 
period. The total collapse of Ghana's economy in the late 1970s was followed by the Economic Recovery Programme of 
1983 and a period of increased foreign investment. This led to an upturn in timber exports - traditionally a major source 
of foreign revenue - sawmills and logging operations were modernised and ports for log exports were rebuilt resulting in 
the recovery of the timber trade which had been declining. The timber industry is now contributing to improved economic 
conditions in the countrv' but there must be concern that this will be at the expense of Ghana's forests. 



Introduction 

The Republic of Ghana lies between 4"45'N and 111 I'N latitude 
and between 1"14'E and 3'07'W longitude. The rectangular- 
shaped country', with a total area of 238,540 sq. km, extends 
675 km inland with a coastline of 567 km. Cote d'lvoire is on the 
western border, Burkina Faso to the north and Togo to the east. 

The topography of Ghana is undulating with prominent scarps 
seldom exceeding 600 m, occurring at Akwapim, Kwahu, Mampon, 
Ejura and Gambaga. The highest hills (880 m) run in a north-east to 
south-west direction between the Volta River and the Togo border 
(FAOAJNEP, 1981 J. To the west of this range is Lake Volta, formed 
in 1964 through the damming of the Volta River. This is the largest 
artificial lake in Africa with an area of 8500 sq. km (Owusu et al, 
1 989) . Prominent rivers found west of the Volta, which drain the wet- 
ter south, are the Ankobra, Pra and Tano (FAO/UNEP, 1981 J. 

The two predominant ecological zones in Ghana are the closed 
forest zone, covering an area of 81,342 sq. km (or 35 per cent of 
the land area) and the savanna zone, including Lake Volta, cover- 
ing 156,300 sq. km (Hall and Swaine, 1981; Silviconsult, 1985). 
The closed forest zone is found mainly in the south-western third 
of the countr>' with a section extending into the northern pan of 
the Volta Region. Rainfall in this zone follows a bimodal pattern 
with peaks in June and October, and an annual range of 1 000-2 1 00 
mm. The forest zone, comprising seven vegetation types, supports 
two-thirds of the countr\''s population and the majority of its eco- 
nomic activities, including timber, cacao, oil palm, rubber, cola 
and mineral production (Foggie, 1951; Owusu et al., 1989). 

The savanna zone covers the northern two-thirds of the coun- 
try and there is also a savanna coastal band which extends from the 
Accra area to the Togo border (Owusu et al., 1989). Three 
vegetation types are recognised within this zone: coastal savanna, 
interior (Guinea) savanna and north-east (Sudan) savanna. iVlajor 
economic activities of this zone include livestock production and 



annual crops, such as maize, millet, cassava, groundnuts, bam- 
barra nuts and cotton (Foggie, 1951; World Bank, 1988). 

Temperatures in the country range from minima of 15-24''C to 
maxima of 33-43°C, with August being the coolest month in the 
forest zone. Harmattan winds from the Sahara blow between 
December and February, lowering humidity and temperatures and 
bringing dust to the northern parts of the country. 

Agriculture, both subsistence and cash crop, is the major eco- 
nomic activity in Ghana. It has been estimated that about half of 
the economically active population is involved in agriculture and 
lives in rural settlements of less than 5000 people (FAOAJNEP, 
1981). Cacao, first introduced in 1878, is the main export crop 
and is the leading Ghanaian commodity export, although output 
has fallen considerably since the 1 970s due to poor prices and the 
ageing of trees (Asibey and Owusu, 1982). Other commercial 
crops such as copra, oil palm, coffee and citrus, and subsistence 
crops including maize, plantain, cassava, yams and millet are cul- 
tivated mostly by individual farmers (FAO/UNEP, 1981). 

The forestry- and logging sector has, since the early 1970s, 
accounted for 5-6 per cent of total GDP and ranks third behind cacao 
and the minerals bauxite, diamonds and gold among commodity' 
exports (World Bank, 1988; Abbiw, 1989j. In 1987, expon earnings 
for this sector were appro.ximately USSIOO million and it employed 
70,000 people fVX'orld Bank, 1 988). The forests not only produce tim- 
ber, they also provide 75 per cent of the countrj''s energy requirements. 

The people of Ghana are distinguished mainly by language and, 
to a lesser degree, by their political, social and cultural institutions. 
The Akan, centred around Kumasi, makes up more than half the 
countr\''s population. In the forest zone, population densities 
(1984) range from 30 people per sq, km in the Brong.-\hafo Region 
to 1 17 people per sq. km in the Central Region. The Upper East 
Region is one of the most densely populated areas in the savanna 



183 



Ghana 



zone, with 87 people per sq. km (World Bank, 1987). Tlie capital 
of Ghana is Accra, while other major cities are Kumasi and Takoradi 
in the south, and Tamale, Wa and Bolgatanga in the north. 

The Forests 

The two main vegetation types in Ghana are the closed forest 
and the savanna ecosystem. The latter is characterised by an open 
canopy of trees and shrubs with a distinct ground layer of grass. 
The Ghanaian forests are pan of the Guineo-Congolean phyto- 
geographical region; the flora has strong affinities with the forests 
of Cote d'lvoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone and a lesser affinity with 
the Nigerian rain forests from which they are separated by the arid 
Dahomey Gap (W. Hawthorne, pers comm. and see chapter 1 1). 

The classification by Hall and Swaine (1981) recognises seven 
vegetation types within the closed forest (Table 21.1 and Figure 
21.1), each with distinct associations of plant species and corre- 
sponding rainfall and soil conditions. 

Wet evergreen forest occurs in the extreme south-western 
comer of the country and enjoys the highest annual rainfall 
(1500-2100 mm). It is floristically rich and closely corresponds to 
Taylor's Lophira-Tarrietia-Cynonietra 'Rainforest' Association (Hall 
and Swaine, 1981). Timber species logged from this forest type 
include dahoma Pipladeniasmtm afncanum, kaku Lophira alata, wal- 
nut Lovoa trichilioides and niangon Heritiera units (Owusu etal., 1989). 

The moist evergreen forest is transitional between the wet ever- 
green and moist semi-deciduous forests. Although not as rich as 
wet evergreen, this type has great floristic diversity and a greater 
number of commercial timber species (Hall and Swaine, 1981). 
Annual rainfall is 1500-1700 mm. 

The moist semi-deciduous forest is subdivided into the north-west 
and south-east subtypes and has the Kwahu and Mampon scarps and 
hills of western Ashanti as prominent topographical features. Rich 
forest soils and annual rainfall of 1200-1800 mm give rise to tree 
heights which often exceed 50 m and are the tallest in the Ghanaian 
forest (Hall and Swaine, 1981). Occupying 40 per cent of the closed 
forest zone, the moist semi-deciduous forest is considered to be the 
most imponant for timber producuon and is characterised by such 
species as utile Emandrophragma mile, African mahogany Khaya 
ivorensis and wawa Triplochuoii scleroxyhn (Outjsu ei at., 1989). The 
north-west subtype harbours more elephants Loxodonta africana than 
any other part of Ghana's forest (Hall and Swaine, 1981). 

The dry semi-deciduous forest type is found as a peripheral band 
around the moister forest types to the south and is adjacent to the 
Guinea savanna zone to the north (Hall and Swaine, 1981). This 
forest type is widespread in West Africa, has lower tree heights than 
those found in the moist semi-deciduous forest and receives rain- 
fall in the order of 1250-1500 mm per annum. It is comprised of 
a wetter subtype, characterised by species such as Hymenostegia 
afzelii, and a drier subtype containing species such as Diospyros 
mespilifomiis and Anogeissus kwcarpus (Owusu et ah, 1989) 

The upland evergreen forests occur as outliers from the main 
evergreen forest block on the high ground (500-750 m) of the 
Atewa Range, Tano Ofin Forest Reser\-e and Mt Ejuanema near 
Nkawkaw. Although surrounded by moist semi-deciduous forest, 
they are floristically similar to the moist evergreen type. The most 
characteristic species are herbaceous rather than woody, with epi- 
phytes and ground ferns being both abundant and diverse (Hall 
and Swaine, 1981). Deciduous trees are relatively rare and the soils 
tend to be bauxitic in composition (Owusu et al, 1989). 

TTie southern marginal forest type is found as a narrow band from 
west of Cape Coast to Akosombo. Precipitation is relatively low at 
1000-1250 mm per annum and the soils tend to be shallow. Forests 
occur in isolated patches as most of the land has been converted to 




Figure 21.1 Distribution of forest types 

{Sources: Hall and Swaine, 1981; Forest Resources Management Project, Kumasi, m lilt, ) 
WE wet evergreen. ME moist evergreen. MS moist semi-deciduous. (NW north-west 
subt>'pe, SE south-east subtype). DS dr>' semi-deciduous (FZ fire zone subtype, IZ irmer 
zone subtype). UE upland evergreen. SM southern marginal. Ma mangrove (source for 
mangrove zone: Forest Resources Management Project, Kumasi). Forest is stippled. 



Table 21.1 Forest zone types and their coverage in Ghana 



Percentage of total 
forest zone area 

8.1 

21.8 
40.4 
26.4 

0.3 

2.9 

0.02 



Type 


Area (sq. km) 


Wet evergreen 


6,570 


Moist evergreen 


17,770 


Moist semi-deciduous 


32,890 


Dry semi-deciduous 


21,440 


Upland evergreen 


292 


Southern marginal 


2,360 


South-east outiiers 


20 



Total 81,342 

{Sources: Hall and Swaine, 1981; Silviconsult, 1985) 



184 



Ghana 



thickets, farms and savanna (Hall and Swaine, 1981). Trees are 
sparse and small in stature, while species such as Hitdcgardia barren 
and Talborietla gentu show a high degree of gregariousness. 

TTie south-east outliers represent the driest of forest types (rain- 
fall of 750-1000 mm per annum) and are the least extensive, occu- 
pying an area of approximately 20 sq. km in small scattered patches 
(Hall and Swaine, 1981). South-east outliers are found predomi- 
nantly on the Accra plain, one notable example being at Shai Hills 
Game Production Reserve. This forest type is characterised by a low 
floral diversity and trees with low canopies. Typical species include 
Milletlia ihoninngn, Talbotiella geimi and Drypeles pannfolia (Hall and 
Swaine, 1981; Owusu«a/., 1989). Within this forest type, there are 
several very rare tree species and few commercial timber species. 

Mangroves 

Along the coastline of Ghana, mangrove stands are best developed on 
the western coast between Cote d'lvoire and Cape Three Points. 
These stands are restricted in area and are usually found as thickets at 
river mouths and on some lagoons (Hughes and Hughes, 1991). Map 
21.1 shows an area of only 3 sq. km of mangrove remaining in the 
country, but this is because other patches are too small to be mapped at 
this scale. The total remaining area is unknown, though it is certainly 
not large. Tvpically, Lagiincularia racemosa and Rhizophora racemosa 
are found on the seaward side of saline lagoons while Avicenma ninda 
occurs on the landward side of the swamps (FAO/UNEP, 1981). 

Ghanaians use mangroves in a number of ways. Oysters, crus- 
taceans such as crabs and prawns, as well as birds, reptiles and 
mammals found in the mangrove habitat are all collected for sub- 
sistence purposes, while wood is commonly used for dock pilings 
and as building poles. The wood of Rhizophora and Avicenma is 
used for firewood or convened to charcoal for domestic purposes 
(Fiselier, 1990) and large quantities are also used in a salt extrac- 
tion process (SECA/CML, 1987). This process has led to the 
almost complete disappearance of mangroves in Ghana 
(SECA/CML, 1987). Salt extraction occurs predominantly in 
Accra and the surrounding area (Toth and Toth, 1974). Other 
threats to the mangrove and wetland system include plastics and 
oil pollution, urban landfill (Toth and Toth, 1974) and reclama- 
tion of land as rice paddies (Hughes and Hughes, 1991). 

Forest Resources and Management 

At the turn of the century, it was estimated that Ghana had 88,000 
sq. km of forest. By 1950, this had fallen to 42,000 sq. km and by 
1980 it was estimated at 19,000 sq. km (Fnmpong-Mensah, 1989). 
This corresponds closely to the FAO (1988) estimate of 17,180 sq. 
km for 1980. Tfie current area of intact closed forest is about 15,000 
sq. km. Map 21.1 shows 1 5,839 sq. km of lowland rain forest remain- 
ing in the country (Table 21.2), a figure that agrees well with other 
estimates and shows a reduction, in seven years, of less than 1 500 sq. 
km from other figure estimates. This reduction also accords well with 
FAO's annual deforestation estimate of 220 sq. km (FAO, 1988). 

Concern for the effects of deforestation and its impact on the 
environment of Ghana stretches back to the beginning of this cen- 
tur>' with the passing of the Timber Protection Ordinance in 1907 
and an assessment of the forest estate by H. N. Thompson. This 
was followed by the establishment of the Forestry Department in 
1909, the passing of the Forest Ordinance (Cap. 157) in 1927, 
introduction of the taung>-a system for reforestation in 1928 and 
the systematic selection, demarcation and reservation of forest in 
the 1920s and 1930s to create permanent forest estate. At that 
time, forest reserves there were established to meet local needs for 
forest products, to create a suitable climate for agriculture, and to 
prevent environmental deterioration (Foggie, 1951; Hall and 



Table 21.2 Estimates of forest extent in Ghana 

Area (sq. km) % of land area 



Ram forests 

Lowland 
Mangrove 

Totals 



15,839 
3 



6.9 
<0.01 



15,842 6.9 

(Based on analysis of Map 21.1. See Map I-egend on p. 1 92 for details of sources.) 

Swaine, 1981). With emphasis placed on timber extraction after 
the Second World War, reserves became increasingly important 
for maintaining the viability of the timber industry (Taylor, 1960). 
The latter half of the 1980s and early 1990s have marked a return 
to the sustainable use and conservation of forest within reserves. 

Today, there are approximately 280 forest reserves, 100 of 
which serve a protection function. In addition, within most of the 
production forest reserves there are areas serving a predominantly 
conservation function where logging is supposedly prohibited 
(Ghartey, 1989). These areas, or protection working circles, make 
up 30 per cent of the forest reserves. Two-thirds of all forest 
reserves are located in the closed forest zone, representing 2 1 per 
cent of the area in that zone (Owaisu et al, 1989). Approximately 
14,100 sq. km of intact closed forest is currently protected by for- 
est reserves, with as little as 1000 sq. km being found outside them. 
Hawthorne (1990) has estimated that less than 1 per cent of for- 
est cover is found outside forest reserves, much of it in small, scat- 
tered patches in swamps and sacred groves (see case study on the 
Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary). An unspecified amount of 



BOABENG-FlEMA MONKEY SANCTUARY 

Conservation of forests and wildlife in Ghana has a long tra- 
dition and has expressed itself through local customs, prac- 
tices and taboos. These include protection of snails Helix sp., 
tree and plant species in sacred groves, protection of the Nile 
crocodile on Katorgor Pond and the establishment of a mon- 
key sanctuary at Boabeng-Fiema in Brong-Ahafo Region. 

The Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary is 2.6 sq. km in area 
and represents the driest extreme of forests, being dominated 
in part by Kliaya grandifoliola and Aiibrevillea kerstingii (Haw- 
thorne, 1989; Owusu et al, 1989). Although representing an 
isolated stand in the savanna, where fire and other disturbances 
are prevalent, this area remains intact as a consequence of the 
relationship that local residents have wvh their environment. A 
stream and the surrounding forest are considered sacred due to 
the presence of the god Abujo and the stream spirit Dawaro 
(Nuhu, 1986). The mona monkey Cercopithecus mona and west- 
em black-and-white colobus Colobiis polykomos are said to be 
children of Abujo and Dawaro and are revered and protected 
as such. TTiese species cannot be hunted, access to and use of 
their habitat is restricted and offences are dealt with by the tra- 
ditional council (Nuhu, 1986). Upon death, these monkeys are 
afforded the same funeral rites as human community members. 

This harmonious relationship between man and his envi- 
ronment has resulted in a stable ecosystem and an area of 
growing interest to national and international visitors alike. 
In recognition of the cultural and biotic significance of 
Boabeng-Fiema, it was given legal protection in 1974 under 
Section 52 of the Local Government Act of 1971. 



185 



Ghana 



secondary forest is developing throughout much of southern 
Ghana, making for a complex mosaic of various land cover types. 

The export of timber from Ghana began in 1888 when African 
mahoganies were shipped overseas to a number of foreign markets. 
The mahoganies accounted for 98 per cent of all timber exports 
until the Second World War (Asibey, 1978; Francois, 1987). From 
that time until the 1970s, eight timber species were sold abroad: 
white mahogany Khaya anthotheca, K. ivorensis, gedu nohor 
Entatidrophragma angolettse, sapele E. cylindricum, E. utile, afror- 
mosia Pencopsis data, baku Tieghemella hcckelii and Triplochiton scle- 
roxyton. Together with cacao, these timbers accounted for 75 per 
cent of the country's overseas earnings. Today, of the approxi- 
mately 126 forest tree species which grow to timber size, 50 are 
considered merchantable, 23 of which are commercially important 
for logs, sawn timber or for processing into veneers and plywoods, 
or furniture (Frangois, 1987; Frimpong-Mensah, 1989). Of these, 
ten or so species account for around 75 per cent of sawlog pro- 
duction (Addo-Ashong, 1989). 

Since the late 1940s, more than 90 per cent of the country's 
closed forest have been logged (Asibey and Owusu, 1982). It has 
been estimated that the gross national standing volume of timber 
in the closed forest is 188 million cu. m, of which 102 million cu. m 
is in trees greater than 70 cm dbh (Ghartey, 1989). 

Timber cutting is permitted through long-term concessions and 
short-term licences. The structure of the industry is such that there 
are no fewer than 500 logging companies, 85 sawmills, 13 veneer 
slicing plants and in excess of 200 furniture firms (World Bank, 
1988; Frimpong-Mensah, 1989). Logging and wood-processing 
are centred at Kumasi, while Takoradi is the main port of export. 
In 1987, 320,000 cu. m of logs and 200,000 cu. m of processed 
wood were exported, mainly to Britain and West Germany, at a 
value of approximately US$100 million (World Bank, 1988). The 
industry provides employment for 1400 people in the industrial 
operations and many others in the rural sector. 

Following a peak in the timber industry in the 1970s, there was 
considerable decline in all sectors with the collapse of Ghana's 
economy at the end of that decade. Under the Economic Recovery 
Programme (ERP) of 1983, the timber industry has been revi- 
talised and timber production has grown dramatically. The pro- 
duction of logs increased by approximately 59 per cent from 
560,000 cu. m in 1983 to 890,000 cu. m m 1986, while sawn tim- 
ber production rose by about 23 per cent from 189,000 cu. m to 
232,000 cu. m over the same period (Frimpong-Mensah, 1989). 

Over-exploitation of a limited number of timber species led to 
a ban on export, in log form, of 14 primary species in 1979 and an 
additional four in 1987. Among these are odum MiUcia exceka, 
Khaya ivorensis, emeri Termmaha ivoreiisis, and afrormosia. This 
has been complemented by the increased use of secondary species 
such as kyenkyen Antians afrieana, oprono Maiisoina altissima and 
kyerere Pteiygota macrocarpa (Friar, 1987). Initiatives aimed at 
long-term sustained yield management have included the Ghana 
Forest Simulation Model (GHAFOSIM) which provides for 
assessment of current and alternative exploitation practices, and 
the introduction of a 40-year felling cycle (Ghartey, 1990). 
Proposals include rationalisation of working plans and stock maps 
for areas to be logged, tighter control of logging activities and a 
reduction in wastage of logs through stronger forest management 
under the Forest Resources Management Project (World Bank, 
1988). 

The development of plantations is one alternative for providing 
domestic and industrial wood requirements. In Ghana, plantations 
date back to the first decade of this century when they were situ- 
ated in the Guinea-savanna woodland (FAOAJNEP, 1981). 



Between 1948 and 1961, plantation activities were well organised 
with the establishment of permanent nurseries (FAOAJNEP, 
1981; Bennuah, 1987). In 1960, the FAO proposed a national for- 
est plantation estate of 59,000 sq. km, commencing with the plant- 
ing of 50 sq. km per annum in 1968 (FAOAJNEP, 1981). This 
was reviewed by the Land Use Planning Committee in 1979 with 
a recommendation that 110 sq. km be planted annually to meet 
domestic and industrial demand by the year 2030. Between 1968 
and 1977, 400 sq. km were planted through the conversion of nat- 
ural forests in logged-over forest reserves. As a consequence of poor 
funding and management, however, current planting has fallen to 
just 10-20 sq. km per annum, much of which is used to rehabili- 
tate failed plantations (World Bank, 1987; Owusu et al, 1989). In 
1 980, it was estimated that there was a total of 263 sq. km covered 
by industrial plantations and 490 sq. km covered by fuelwood plan- 
tations (FAOAJNEP, 1981). A second estimate lists a total plan- 
tation area of 760 sq. km, 520 sq. km of which is used for the pro- 
duction of sawn timber, while the other 240 sq. km are woodlots 
and plantations in the savanna zone (Silviconsult, 1985). 

Indigenous tree species planted include Tenmnalia ivorensis, 
Hentiera utilis and Khaya ivorensis. Exotics planted include teak 
Tectona grandis, Cedrela odorata. Eucalyptus spp. and Pinus spp. 
(FAOAJNEP, 1981). The choice of species planted has been 
dependent upon end use, with Triplochiton scleroxyhn planted for 
timber production, Gmelina arborea for pulp and paper and teak 
for fuelwood and, increasingly, for telephone and construction 
poles (FAOAJNEP, 1981; Friar, 1987). 

At the present time, little systematic management of plantations 
occurs. Under the auspices of the Forest Resources Management 
Project, the approximately 300 sq. km of industrial forest planta- 
tions is to be surveyed and rehabilitated. A long-term plan for 
industrial plantations outside reserves is also to be drawn up, the 
goal of which is to alleviate pressure on the natural forest. In addi- 
tion, considerable support is being provided for the establishment 
of district and local village nurseries to help meet domestic wood 
demand (World Bank, 1988). 

Of the minor forest products used in Ghana (see case study), 
bushmeat is one of the most important. It has been estimated that 
75 per cent of the country's population relies on bushmeat for 
protein and that in some rural areas, local residents rely exclu- 
sively on fish (mostly dried) and bushmeat for their animal 
protein (Asibey, 1974; MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 1986; 
World Bank, 1988). In the closed forest zone, all species of mam- 
mal, including primates, are eaten. The favourite is probably ihe 
cane rat Thiyonontys szvinderianus. In one survey, it was found that 
more than 12 million cedis (or US$202,000) worth of bushmeat 
was sold from a single market in Accra in 1985. Three-quarters 
of this trade involved the cane rat (Ntiamoa-Baidu, 1987). In 
another six-year survey of one Accra market, Asibey (1987) 
reported that at least 79,000 kg of bushmeat was traded every 
year. Apart from subsistence use and local trade, there is a lucra- 
tive export market for wildlife species. In 1985, approximately 
21,000 live animals were exported at a value of USS344,032 
(Ntiamoa-Baidu, 1987). 

In Ghana, there is a strong tradition of group hunting, the exer- 
cise of which is often tied to customary rites and practices. The 
Aboakyer (bushbuck) festival of the Efutus in Winneba is an annual 
hunt to determine whether the next year will be one of peace and 
abundance or war and famine (Akyempo, n.d.). The outcome is 
determined by which of two hunting parties is the first to capture 
a bushbuck and present it live to the local chief From its incep- 
tion, this festival has moved from sacrificing a human being, to a 
leopard, then to the bushbuck of today (Akyempo, n.d.). 



186 



Ghana 




^ '-A 



Map 21.1 Ghana 



Rain Forest 

lowland 
mangrove 

Conservation areas 

exisling 
proposed 



Non Forest 

Obscured by cloud 

1:3,000,000 






50 100 km 
-■ 1 ' 

miles 



50 



TOGO 



C^ 



t: Assin-Attandansoa 

a 
\np ° ° ° ° ■ 

□ ,. . . 

Cape Coast 

'Takoradi 



2°W 



ACCRA 
Winneba 



187 



Ghana 



Minor Forest Products 

The use of minor forest products has had a long history in 
Ghana. As early as 1850, oil palm was collected and exported, 
followed by gum copal Damellia ogea in the 1 870s. By the 1 920s, 
trade in cola nuts Cola mnda exceeded 1 0,000 tons, the major- 
ity of which was collected from wild trees (lUCN, 1 988). Today, 
close to 1 00 per cent of rural people and 60 per cent of the urban 
population rely on traditional medicine as their main source of 
health care. Most of this medicine is derived from forest plants 
(World Bank, 1988). Traditional medicine is so important that 
research centres have been established such as that at Mampon. 

Many small-scale rural industries depend on minor forest 
products for their existence. Carvers of drums and utensils, 
weavers of baskets and cane furniture, and manufacturers of 
tools and musical instruments are typical examples. The trade 
in these items also provides a livelihood for thousands of res- 
idents throughout the country. It has been estimated that there 
are roughly 700 people employed full-time in the forest prod- 
uct trade in Kumasi's central market alone (Falconer, 1990). 

Several tree species are used in the production of canoes. 
African pear wood Manilkara obovata, asoma Parkia bicolor 
and onyina Ceiba pentandra are commonly used in making 
fresh-water boats, while Tnplochiton scleroxylon is used for sea- 
going vessels (World Bank, 1988; N. O'Neill, pers. comm.). 

Hundreds of different plant and animal species are used by 
the local people. Appro.ximately 300 forest species provide 
wild fruit, while plant beverages include tea, coffee, cocoa and 
palm wine (Abbiw, 1989). Thaumatococcm damellii, a rhi- 
zomatous herb, is reported to be 20,000 times sweeter than 
ordinary sugar. Between 1975 and 1980, 288,800 kg of this 
herb in the form of fresh fruit was exported for use in coun- 
tries such as the UK (Enti, n.d.). Ahensaw Moinordica angus- 
lifolia is a forest climber that is used as a bathing sponge, 
demmere Calamus deeralus, a climbing palm, is used to make 
baskets, while Garcinia spp. are sought after as chewing sticks 
and the seeds of Grijfonia sunpUafolia are taken to reduce high 
blood pressure (Abbiw, 1989; Enti, n.d.). Animal species, 
such as the pangolin Manis sp. and genet Genetta sp. are 
valued in the preparation of various medicines as well as pro- 
viding substantial quantities of meat (World Bank, 1988). 



Deforestation 

The World Bank (1988) has estimated that closed forest has been 
reduced at an annual rate of 750 sq. km since the turn of the cen- 
tury, while FAO (1988) reponed a deforestation rate of 220 sq. 
km per annum for the period 1981-5. The current deforestation 
rate is probably negligible as very little closed forest remains out- 
side the reserve network. The major causes of deforestation are fire 
damage, over-logging, shifting cultivation and an ever increasing 
demand for fuelwood. These, coupled with a rapidly increasing 
population, are issues of national concern. 

Fire damage There are repons that fire damage in Ghana, following 
the drought of 1982-3, altered the structure and composition of 
about 30 per cent of the forest remaining in the semi-deciduous 
forest zone, and led to the loss of 4 million cu. m of high quality 
timber. Indeed, this is now the greatest single threat to the long- 
term survival of forest in the country. In recent years, fire damage 
has progressively expanded southwards and heavily logged and 
previously burnt areas are at a higher risk from subsequent fires . 



Over-logging Particularly when coupled with fire, over-logging is a 
contributing factor to deforestation. It has been predicted that an 
annual allowable cut of 1.1 million cu. m for commercial timber 
species could be sustained for the foreseeable future (World Bank, 
1988). This would comprise 720,000 cu. m from reserved forests, 
120,000 cu. m from unreserved forests and 260,000 cu. m from 
plantations. However, with log production in the region of 1.35 
million cu. m per annum and wastage of merchantable wood at 
25-50 per cent, it has been estimated that the actual cut is in the 
range of 2.0 to 2.7 million cu. m per annum, or 1.6 to 2.5 times 
the sustainable cut (World Bank, 1988). Compounding the 
problems caused by this unacceptably high extraction rate, the 
timber industry has concentrated on a limited number of tree 
species. It is believed that unless a more balanced approach to 
exploitation is undertaken, species such as odum, afrormosia and 
sapele will become virtually extinct as commercial timber species 
within two or three decades (Alder, 1989). 

Shifting cultivation Traditionally, shifting cultivation has accounted 
for up to 70 per cent of deforestation. The most serious effects have 
been felt in areas outside legally protected reserves (Agyeman and 
Brookman-Amissah, 1987). Furthermore, the land tenure system 
permits the renting of land and encourages an attitude of 
maximising short-term returns; natural forest has been replaced by 
plantation and cash crops, while high densities of such domestic 
stock as catde, sheep and goats exist in the forest zone. All these 
factors have contributed to both deforestation and land degradation 
(Worid Bank, 1987). 

Fuelwood demand Woodfuels, in the form of both fuelwood and 
charcoal, account for more than 75 per cent of all energy consumed 
in Ghana and an even higher percentage of energy for household 
cooking and water heating in rural and urban areas alike (Owusu et 
al, 1989). In one study, it was found that approximately 84 per cent 

Bundles of firewood for sale by the roadside near Kuinast. D. and I. Gordon 




n 



Ghana 



of urban households sampled were either dependent on charcoal 
alone, fuelwood alone (14.2 per cent) or a combination of the two (5 
percent) (Nketiah et al, 1988). In 1985, consumption of woodfuels 
was roughly 12 million cu. m. By 1988 this figure had reached 15.9 
million cu. m, and it is predicted to reach 17 million cu. m by the 
turn of the century CVC'orld Bank, 1988; FAO, 1990). 

Between the years 1986 and 2000, according to a World Bank 
(1988) estimate, fuelwood consumption will grow by approxi- 
mately 2.8 per cent as against a decline in wood availability of 0.7 
per cent per annum. This difference will result in a fuelwood deficit 
of 11.6 million cu. m by the year 2000. Since fuelwood comes 
almost exclusively from natural ecosystems, with very little from 
plantations and woodlots, wood resources will become increasingly 
scarce in areas outside reserves, while pressure for wood within for- 
est reserves will continue to intensify (Owusu et al, 1989). In the 
Accra area and parts of the northern regions, some local residents 
have taken to burning roots and cassava stems to satisfy their fuel- 
wood requirements. 

Localised causes of deforestation include extensive cultivation 
resulting from migration of cacao farmers and the mining of dia- 
monds, gold and manganese in the south-west because these rely 
heavily on the use of timber, poles and firewood (World Bank, 
1987). In addition, high population density in closed forest areas 
such as the Central Region is putting increasing stress on both 
wood and land resources (World Bank, 1987). 

Biodiversity 

The closed forest and savanna zones of Ghana support a wide 
diversity of plants and animals. More than 3600 plant species have 
been identified, over 2 1 00 being found m the forest zone (Lebrun, 
1976; World Bank, 1988). Within this zone, 125 plant families 
have been identified and a species diversity of about 300 plants has 
been recorded in a single hectare (World Bank, 1988). Of the 43 
endemic plant species in the country, 23 are known to exist in the 
forest zone. Seven are found only in the wet evergreen forest 
(Brenan, 1978; Hall and Swaine, 1981). These include 
Hymenostegia gracilipes, Cola umbraiilis and Ahodeiopsis chippi 
(lUCN, 1988). In total, 730 tree species, of which 680 attain a 
dimension of 5 cm or more at breast height, have been recorded 
from the closed forests (Hawthorne, 1989). 

The wet evergreen forest is the most prolific in its floral diver- 
sity (Hall and Swaine, 1981). In contrast, the much drier south- 
em marginal and south-east outlier forest is species-poor, with 90 
per cent of the vegetation attributed to a single species in some of 
the southern outlier forest plots. Nevenheless, five endemic or near 
endemic species, including Talbotiella gcntii, Dalbergia setifera and 
Turraea ghanensis, are found in these forest types. 

The mammal fauna of the closed forest zone is biotically diverse 
and includes over 200 species, many of which are rare or endangered. 
Ungulate species include Maxwell's duiker Cephalophus maxivelli, 
bushbuck Tragdaphiis scriptus, buffalo Syncents caffer, bongo 
Tragelaphus euryceros and the rare Ogilby's duiker Cephalophus ogitbyi 
(Ankudey and Ofori-Fnmpong, 1990). Carnivores are represented 
by species such as leopard Panthera pardus and golden cat Felis aurjta 
which are rare, African civet Viverra civetta and several species of 
mongoose (World Bank, 1988; Mensah-Ntiamoa, 1989). Of the 16 
primates recorded in the country, many, including the western 
black-and-white colobus monkey Colobiis polykoiiios, spot-nosed 
monkey Cercopuheciis peiaurista, white-collared mangabey Cercocebus 
Otys, bushbaby Galago seiiegaleiists, Bosman's potto Perodicticus polio 
and chimpanzee Pan troglodytes are found in the forest zone. Eight 
primates occur in Bia and Nini-Suhien national parks (Asibey and 
Owusu, 1982). Other species of this zone include forest elephant L. 




This black SLorpwn Pandinus imnpeiator found in Ghana 's forests, 
can live up to 25 years and get as large as 23an. M. Spaulding 

a. cyclotis and the increasingly rare pygmy hippopotamus Choeropsis 
liberiensis (Mensah-Ntiamoa, 1989). 

The closed forest zone also supports 74 species of bats, 37 
rodents, three species of flying squirrel and a variety of reptiles 
including African python Python sebae, Bosc's monitor Varanus 
exanthemathicus, common hinged tortoise Kinixys sp. and Nile 
crocodile Crocodylus niloticus (World Bank, 1988; Mensah- 
Ntiamoa, 1989). 

Some 200 species of birds, out of a total of 721 listed for the 
country, have been recorded within the forest zone, with 80 species 
being restricted to primary forest (lUCN, 1988;WRI, 1990). This 
includes six species of hombills, the African grey parrot Psittacus 
enthacus and the endangered white-breasted guineafowl Agelastes 
meleagndes, which was seen in Boin-Tano Forest Reserve in 1 989 
(Nash, 1990). Amphibian and fish species are yet to be systemat- 
ically surveyed in the forest zone. 

Conservation Areas 

The Wild Animals Preservation Act No. 43 of 1961, Legislative 
Instrument 710 of 1971 and the National Wildlife Consen'ation 
Policy of 1974 provide the legislative authority and the guidelines 
for the conservation of wildlife and the establishment of conserva- 
tion areas. The administration of wildlife legislation is the respon- 
sibility of the Department of Game and Wildlife within the 
Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. 

The total reserved forest in Ghana is approximately 
38,400 sq. km, which corresponds to 16.7 per cent of land area. 
This is divided into 26,300 sq. km of forest reserves and 12,105 
sq. km of wildlife sector reserves. The latter represent a little over 
5 per cent of Ghana's land area (lUCN, 1988). 

Conservation areas fall within four categories: national parks, 
strict nature reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and game production 
reserves, of which 93.5 per cent by area, are located in the savanna 
zone. Threats to conservation areas include the poaching of 
wildlife, unresolved resettlement issues with local residents and an 
inadequate knowledge of ecological systems upon which to base 
sound management decisions (Nuhu, 1986; Owusu et at., 1989). 
To date, only one management plan, that for the Bia Conservation 
Area (Martin, 1982), has been proposed. 



189 



Ghana 



A faunal survey of the closed forest led to the conversion of Bia 
Tributaries South Forest Reserve to Ghana's first closed forest 
national park in 1974. Bia National Park was followed by the cre- 
ation of Nini-Suhien National Park and a number of other reserves 
(Asibey and Owusu, 1982). In addition to these two national parks 
there are two wildlife sanctuaries and three game production 
reserves in the forest zone (lUCN, 1988). Almost 1 per cent of the 
forest zone is included in these categories of protected area. 

Three additional conservation areas are proposed in the forest 
zone: Kakum National Park and Assin-Attandanso Game 
Production Reserve (being developed under the auspices of the 
Central Region Integrated Development Project) and Agumatsa 
Wildlife Sanctuary (Cloutier and Dufresne, 1991). Existing and 
proposed conservation areas are listed in Table 21.3. 

Two forest habitats will still lack protected area coverage: upland 
evergreen, which has a number of rare plant species and mangroves 
which are imponant bird nesting sites and nursery areas for fish 
and prawns (lUCN, 1988). Furthermore, the inner zone of the dry 
semi-deciduous forest type is minimally protected and conserva- 
tion areas at present do not cover any large tracts of this forest. 
Several conservation areas are too small to maintain viable popu- 
lations of animal and plant species in the long term (Hall and 
Swaine, 1981; lUCN, 1988). 

Initiatives for Conservation 

Recently, several conservation initiatives have been undertaken by 
the Environmental Protection Council (EPC) in addition to the 
efforts of the Department of Game and Wildlife and the Forestry 
Department. Through the Environmental Outreach Programme, 
the EPC has been working with district assemblies in the prepara- 
tion of environmental guidelines for local area development. The 
EPC also liaises with environmental clubs throughout the country' 
in promoting conservation education, organising field trips to 
protected areas and sites of ecological significance and conducting 
preliminary' research into sacred groves and the role they play in 
conservation. The EPC is currently supporting the development 
of a National Conservation Strategy for Ghana (Benneh, 1987). 

Currently, there are no reserve areas along the coast of Ghana 
and none of the mangroves is protected. However, this situation 
is being reviewed by the Department of Game and Wildlife as 
many of these coastline areas have historical (castles and forts), 
recreational (beaches) and ecological significance. One conserva- 
tion initiative currently in progress is a joint venture between the 
UK Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), 
International Council for Bird Preservation (ICBP) and the 
government of Ghana for the protection of seabirds and shore- 
birds and their habitats (Hepburn, 1987). Entitled Save the 
Seashore Bint Projeel, this is one step towards ensuring the pro- 
tection and sustainable use of the coastal wetland ecosystem. In 
addition to playing a leading role in this project, the Department 
of Game and Wildlife has a conservation education officer who 
works with wildlife clubs, local community groups and schools in 
promoting conservation, and is planning to extend its protected 
areas network in the closed forest. 

The Forestry Department is currently involved in a multiplicity 
of management and conservation initiatives under the auspices of 
the Forest Inventory and Forest Resources Management projects. 
The Forest Inventory Project is funded by the UK Overseas 
Development Administration (ODA) while the Forest Resources 
Management Project is supported by the government of Ghana, 
World Bank, ODA and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs' 
Department of International Development (DANIDA) (Howard, 
1989). The Forest Inventory Project is sur\eying closed forest in 



Table 21.3 Conser\'ation areas of Ghana 

Existing and proposed areas are listed below. Forest reserves are 
not included or mapped. For data on Biosphere reserves and 
Ramsar sites see chapter 9. 

Existing area Proposed area 

(sq. kill) (sq. km) 

National Parks 

Bia* 78 

Bui 2,074 

Digya 3,126 

Kakum* 213 

Mole 4,914 

Nini-Suhien* 106 



12 



Strict Nature Resemes 




Kogyae* 


324 


Wildlife Sanctuaries 




Agumatsa* 




Bomfobiri 


52 


Owabi 


73 


Game Production Reserves 




Ankasa* 


207 


Assin-Attandanso* 




Bia* 


228 


Gbele 


547 


Kalakpa 


324 


Shai Hills 


54 



154 



Aionkey Sanctuaries' 

Boabeng-Fiema* 3 

Totals 12,110 

iSomcei: lUCN, 1990; WCMC, w tin.) 



379 



* Area with moist forest within its boundaries as shown an Map 21.1. 
Protected by a local by-law only. 



forest reserves as a basis for sustained yield management (Wyatt, 
1989). By November 1988, 5460 sq. km, covering 43 forest 
reserves, had been inventoried (Ghartey, 1989). The project is also 
surveying protection working circles within production forest 
reserves with a view to protecting vulnerable ecosystems. 

In 1 986, the World Bank, with support from FAO, the Canadian 
International Development Agency (CIDA) and ODA, conducted 
a forestry sector review for Ghana. As a result, the US$64.6 mil- 
lion Forest Resources Management Project was launched in 1989, 
under which the forestry' and wildlife sectors are being reviewed 
and working plans will be prepared for all the closed forest reserves. 
Furthermore, the project will strengthen the present network of 
conservation areas and improve game management in the areas 
outside parks and reserves (World Bank, 1988). Institutions such 
as the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Forestry 
Department, the Department of Game and Wildlife, the Forest 
Products Inspection Bureau and the Timber Export Development 
Board will be strengthened, as will such training bodies as the 
Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) at Kumasi, and 
School of Forestry, Sunyani. 

Agroforestry is being promoted throughout the country by the 
establishment of a unit within the Crop Services Division of the 
Ministry of Agriculture. A National Agroforestry Committee will 
advise and coordinate research, and support community-based 
agroforestry (Owusu tV <j/. 1989). 



190 



Ghana 



A part of the Forest Resources Management Project is the 
Forestry Commission's revision of the national forest policy which 
was in effect before Ghana's independence. The policy will focus 
on the overall management of the forest estate, seek to protect crit- 
ical areas, provide support for forest-based industries (fuelwood 
and charcoal) and encourage private and community forestry 
(EPC, 1989). Actions stemming from the policy will promote a 
reduction in logging waste, the development of economic uses for 
wood residues and encourage the development and use of wood 
preservation techniques. 

The EEC is contributmg to a study on protected area develop- 
ment in south-western Ghana and the preparation of a regional 
West African programme of environmental awareness (F. W. 
Nagel, pers. comm.). Friends of the Earth-Ghana (FoE-Ghana), 
established in January 1986, has initiated a number of tree plant- 
ing, environmental education and research programmes in the 



closed forest zone (FoE, n.d.). Agroforestry schemes have been set 
up in ten Ashanti villages, with a number of other villages express- 
ing an interest in setting up similar projects with the assistance of 
Friends of the Earth. 

The Ghana Association for the Conservation of Nature 
(GACON), in conjunction with the Harrogate Conservation 
Volunteers (UK), was established in June 1988. One of the objec- 
tives of GACON is the protection of 'sacred groves', burial grounds 
and watersheds which are to be managed by local communities. 
One notable example has been the establishment of Jachie 
Conservation Area m the Ashanti Region. The declaration of this 
land as sacred fulfilled the dual purpose of providing an important 
burial ground for the citizens of Jachie and serving as a refuge for 
local plant and animal species. Other local wildlife reserves are 
being supported at Kokobiriko, Asiempong and Santasi (K. 
Frimpong-Mensah, pers. comm.). 



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sur la Conservation et Utilisation Rationnelle de la Foret Dense 

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Bank/African Development Bank/IUCN. Abidjan, Cote 

d'lvoire. 1 1 pp. 
Hall, J. B. and Swaine, M. D. (1981) Distribution and Ecology of 

Vascular Plants in a Tropical Rain Forest: Forest Vegetation in 

Ghana. Junk, The Hague, The Netherlands. 383 pp. 
Hawthorne, W. D. (1989) The flora and vegetation of Ghana's 

forests. Ghana Forest Inventory Project Seminar Proceedings, pp. 

8-14. Forestry Department, Accra, Ghana. 
Hawthorne, W. D. ( 1 990) Knowledge of plant species in the for- 
est zone of Ghana. Proceedings of the Twelfth Plenaiy Meeting of 

AETFA T. Symposium II Mitteilungen aus dem Institiit fiir allge- 

meine Botanik in Hamburg Band 23a. Pp. 177-86. 
Hepburn, J. R. (1987) Conservation of wader habitats in coastal 

West Africa. In: The Conservation of International Flyivay 

Populations of Waders. Davidson, N. C. and Pienkowski, M. W. 

(eds). Wader Study Group Bulletin No. 49, Supplement/IWRB 

Special Publication No. 7. Slimbridge, UK. 
Howard, W. (1989) The Forest Resources Management Project 

(World Bank/ODA/DANIDA). Ghana Forest Inventory Project 

Seminar Proceedings, pp. 59-62. Forestry Department, Accra, 

Ghana. 
Hughes, R. H. and Hughes, J. S. (1991) A Directoo' of 

Afrotropical Wetlands. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and 

Cambridge, UKAJNEP, Nairobi, Kenya/WCMC, Cambridge, 

UK. 
lUCN (1988) Ghana: Conservation of Biological Diversity . Draft. 

lUCN Tropical Forestry Programme. World Conservation 

Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK. 17 pp. 
Lebrun, J. P. (1976) Richesses specifiques de la Acre vasculaire 

des divers pays ou regions d'Afrique. Candollea 31; 1 1-15. 
MacKinnon, J. and MacKinnon, K. (1986) Review of the 

Protected Areas System in the Afrotropical Realm. lUCNAJNEP, 

Gland, Switzerland. 259 pp. 
Manin, C. (1982) Management Plan for the Bia Wildlife 

Conservation Areas. Prepared for Ghana Forestry 

Commission/IUCN/WWF (lUCNAJC'WF Project 1251). Final 

Repon. 152 pp. 
Mensah-Ntiamoa, A. Y. (1989) Pre-feasibilny Study on Wildlife 

Potentials in the Kakuin and Assin-Attandanso Forest Reserves - 

Central Region - Ghana. Unpublished. Department of Game 

and Wildlife, Accra, Ghana. 60 pp. 
Nash, S. (ed.) (1990) Project: GREEN - Ghana Rainforest 

Expedition Eighty-Nine. 30 June 1989-12 September 1989. 

Final Report. Rose Hill Lodge, Dorking, UK. 87 pp. 
Nketiah, K. S., Hagan, E. B., Addo, S. T. (1988) The Charcoal 

Cycle in Ghana - a Baseline Study. Final Report. UNDP, Accra, 

Ghana. 184 pp. 
Ntiamoa-Baida, Y. (1987) West African wildlife: a resource in 

jeopardy. Unasyha 156: 139. 
Nuhu, V. A. N. (1986) Wildlife Conservation in Ghana: Pre- and 

Post-colonial Era. BSc thesis, unpublished. Institute of 

Renewable Natural Resources, Kumasi, Ghana. 67 pp. 
Owusu, J. G. K., Manu, C. K., Ofosu, G. K. and Ntiamoa-Baidu, 

Y. ( 1 989) Report of the Working Group on Forestiy and Wildlife. 

Revised version. Prepared for the Environmental Protection 

Council, Accra, Ghana. 



SECA/CML (1987) Mangroves of Africa and Madagascar, 
Conservation and Reclamation. Societe d'Eco-amenagement, 
Marseilles, France and Centre for Environmental Studies, 
University of Leiden, The Netherlands. Unpublished repon to 
the European Commission, Brussels. 

Silviconsult (1985) The Forest Department Review. Consultancy 
Report, World Bank Export Rehabilitation Programme. 

Taylor, C.J. (1960) Synecology and Silviculture in Ghana. Nelson, 
Edinburgh, UK. 

Toth, E. F. and Toth, K. A. (1974) Coastal National Park Site 
Selection Sun^ey. Unpublished. Department of Game and 
Wildlife, Accra, Ghana. 8 pp. 

World Bank (1987) Ghana: Forestry' Sector Review. Washington, 
DC, USA. 35 pp. 

World Bank (1988) Staff Appraisal Report: Ghana Forest Resources 
Management Project (No. 7295-GH) . World Bank, Washington, 
DC, USA. 119 pp. 

WRI ( 1 990) World Resources 1 990-1991: a guide to the global envi- 
ronment. World Resources Institute, New York, USA. 383 pp. 

Wyatt, A. (1989) Opening remarks. Ghana Forest Inventory 
Project Seminar Proceedings, pp. 5-6. Forestry Department, 
Accra, Ghana. 

Authorship 

Donald Gordon of WCMC, Cambridge with contributions from 
William Hawthorne, N. M. Bird and J. E. F. Falconer of the 
ODA/Forest Resources Management Project in Kumasi, 
N. O'Neill, UK, E. O. A. Asibey of the World Bank, Washington, 
J. H. Frangois, K. T. Boateng and K. Ghartey of the Forestry 
Department and K. Tufour and R. K. Bamfo of the Forestry 
Commission, Accra, G. Pungese of the Department of Game and 
Wildlife, Accra and K. Frimpong-Mensah, J. G. K. Owusu and 
S. J. Quashie-Sam from the Institute of Renewable Natural 
Resources, Kumasi, D. S. Amlalo and K. Omasi from the EPC. 

Map 21.1 Forest cover in Ghana 

Information on forest cover in Ghana has been extracted from 1989-90 
UNEP/GRID data which accompany an unpublished repon The Methodology 
Developmenl Project for Tropical Forest Cover Assessment iti West Afnca (Paivinen 
and Witt, 1989). Forest/non-forest boundaries in West Africa have been mapped 
by UNEP/GEMS/GRID, who, together with the EEC and FINNIDA, have 
developed a system using 1 l<m resolution NOAA/AVHRR-LAC satellite data to 
delimit these boundaries. These data have been generalised for this Atlas to show 
2x2 km squares which are predominantly covered in forest. Higher resolution 
satellite data (Landsat MSS and TM, SPOT) and field data from Ghana, Cote 
d'lvoire and Nigeria have also been used. Forest and non-forest data have been 
graded into five vegetation types: forest (closed, defined as greater than 40 per 
cent canopy closure); fallow (mi-\ed agriculture, clear-cut and degraded forest); 
savanna (includes open forests in the savanna zone and urban areas); mangrove 
and water. In addition this dataset shows areas obscured by cloud. In this Atlas, 
UNEP/GRID's 'forest' and 'mangrove' classifications have been mapped. 
Delimitation of 'types' of forest shown on Map 21.1 have been made by overlaying 
White's vegetation map (1983) on to the UNEP/GRID dataset. 

Reference has also been made to a blueline map 1 :500,000 scale Aiap of Forest 
Reserves tu Gliaua illustrating forest reserves and distribution of forest zones 
(Hall and Swaine, 1981) and to a 1:2 million scale map Ghana compiled by 
the Survey of Ghana in 1 969 showing the main vegetation zones, reserved and 
unreserved forests. 

Conservation areas were drawn from a I : I million unpublished map Ghana 
( 1 989) showing district assembly areas and established protected areas prepared 
by the Town and Country Planning Department, Ghana. 



192 



22 Guinea 









Land area 245,85/ sq km 


r—^ ^ 




Population (mid- 1990) 7 3 million 


>^~^ ^ 




Population growth rate in 1 990 2 5 pei cent 


J,' 




Population projected to 2020 1 4 4 million 


/T' - 




Gross notional product per capita (1988) USS350 


f- 




Rain forest (see mop) 7655 sq. km 


1 1 




Closed broadleaved forest (end 1 980) ' 20,500 $q km 


fe^ 




Annual deforestation rote (1981-5)' 360 sq km 


^S •■-< - . 




Industrial roundwood productiont 647,000 sq km 


\i_ i't}L^yj^ 




Industriol roundwood exports! 8000 cu m 
Fuelwood and charcoal productiont 4,022,000 cu m 


^h- 




(- 


Processed wood production! 90,000 cu m 


y^ 




Processed wood exports! nd 






■ FA0(1988) 

4. 1 nan J ± t riA /innit 


1 




t 1989 ootaltomFAO (1991) 



The moist forests of Guinea are severely reduced in area and deforestation is continuing. It is expected that all moist 
forest outside reserves will be lost in the near future, except for some degraded relicts protected by terrain or tradition. 
Nonetheless, the remaining forest tracts have a diverse flora and fauna, characteristic of the Upper Guinea centre of 
endemism, and have international importance for biodiversity conservation. 

The Forestry Department, which in Guinea is responsible for the conservation of wildlife and all renewable natural 
resources, is at present in a state of reorganisation and reorientation after a period of inactivity in the early 1980s. The 
National Forest Policy, drawn up within the Tropical Forestry Action Plan, emphasises conservation and wise use of all 
forest resources for the benefit of rural populations and the maintenance of environmental quality. 

National capacity to implement forestry and conservation programmes remains limited, but assistance is being provided 
by the World Bank, the European Development Fund, Germany and France. 



Introduction 

The Republic of Guinea, lying between 7°05'-12°5rN and 
7°30'-15"10'W, IS bouncied on the west by the Atlantic, in the south 
by Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d'lvoire, and in the north by 
Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Mali. It divides into four natural regions: 
Guinee Maritime, Moyenne Guinee or Fouta Djallon, Haute Guinee 
and Guinee Forestiere. The country becomes increasingly dry towards 
the north and east. It straddles the Upper Guinea Forest, the transi- 
tional savanna/forest mosaic and the dry Sudanian vegetation zones 
(White, 1983). The headwaters of many of the major rivers of West 
Africa (for example, The Gambia and Senegal) lie in the highlands of 
the Fouta Djallon (culminating in Mt Loura, 1538 m) in the central 
part of the country. The 'Dorsale Guineenne' constitutes a second 
highland chain traversing the south-east on a south-east to north-west 
axis which includes Mt Nimba (1752 m), Pic de Fon (1656 m) and 
the Ziama massif (1387 m). ITie 'dorsale' forms the watershed 
between the Niger drainage system and the major rivers flowing to the 
Adantic coast through Guinea's neighbouring countries to the south. 

The population was estimated at 7.3 million in 1990 and it is 
expected to be almost double this size by the year 2020. Population 
density is highly variable according to region, with 44 people per sq. 
km on the coast, 23 people per sq. km in the moist forest region in 
the south-east and only 12 people per sq. km in the dry north-east. 

Guinea is relatively rich in natural resources, particularly min- 
erals, and has a high agricultural potential in certain regions. 
However, the economy declined in the 1960s and 1970s and this 
is now one of the least developed countries in Africa. A radical eco- 
nomic reform programme is under way with a policy framework 
designed to create a more vigorous, market-based economy. 

The Forests 

The type of forest cover varies across the country, following the gen- 
eral trend of increasing dryness towards the north and east. Three 
principal formations (including mangroves) occur and the following 



descriptions are largely based upon those given in the National 
Forestry Policy and Action Plan (Republique de Guinee, 1987). 

Much of the northern half of Guinea, with the exception of the 
montane section of Fouta Djallon, was originally covered with dry 
forest. In this area, rainfall declines from 1600 mm to 1250 mm per 
year and the dry season lengthens from three to seven months 
between Faranah in the south-west of the region and Siguiri in the 
north-east. To the west the forest was mostly dominated by Parkia 
biglobosa and Pterocaipus erinaceus, with much bamboo Oxytenanthera 
abyssincia in the underbrush. In the north, Afzelia africayia domi- 
nated on sandy soils, while the eastern foothills of the Fouta Djallon 
carried a mixed forest in which Etyihrophleum guineense was promi- 
nent. To the south of the dry forest zone, principal elements included 
hoberlinia doka, I. dalzielU and Uapaca sonwn. Human activity has 
now degraded the dry forests of Guinea into more open, wooded 
savannah formations. Dense IsobcrUnia forest is still reported, how- 
ever, from the region between Faranah and Kouroussa. 

The moist forests include evergreen forest in the extreme south- 
east of the country, higher-altitude submontane forests in the 
Fouta Djallon and on the higher peaks in the south-east and semi- 
deciduous forests elsewhere. The evergreen moist forests are sim- 
ilar to those found in the neighbouring regions of Cote d'lvoire and 
Liberia. They are mixed forests with no clearly dominant species 
although Piptadeniaslnmi africanuni, Parkia bicolor, Heritiera utilis, 
Enrandwphragina spp. and Lophira alata are important con- 
stituents. Valley-bottoms often contain Raphia and Uapaca dom- 
inated swamp forest, while considerable areas within the remain- 
ing large tracts are prone to waterlogging during the wet season. 

These forests appear typical of the southern part of Guinee 
Forestiere, up to the area around Macenta and Diecke. Further 
north a drier forest, tending to become semi-deciduous, appears in 
which a number of species that are also present in the south, but that 
are more typical of secondary conditions, become more prominent. 



193 



Guinea 




194 



Guinea 




195 



Guinea 



These include Triplochiton sclewxylou, Terminalia ivorensis, T. 
superba, Chlorophora regia and Anliaris excelsa. With increasingly 
dry conditions, species such as Khaya grandifoliola and Afzetia spp. 
appear. Rainfall in the evergreen forest zone varies from 2700 mm 
in the south, with a dry season of less than two months, to 1 700 mm 
in the north, where the dry season is three months. 

Much of the remaining area of southern Guinea was originally 
covered with semi-deciduous moist forest. It was similar to that 
described for the northern evergreen forest but it lacked 
Tnplochilou and contained Khaya senegalensis and Erythrophleum . 
On the coast the forests were richer in Pannari excelsa, were with- 
out Erythrophleum but exhibited an abundance of Canarium, 
Aningeria, Aniiatis, Carapa and Tenmnalta ivorcnsis. The coastal 
climate has sharply contrasting dry and wet seasons, rainfall of 
2500-4500 mm, and a dry season of five to six months' duration. 

TTie uplands of the Fouta Djallon, with a five-month dry season 
during which there are frequent mists, relatively high rainfall, cooler 
temperatures and high relative humidity, carried a dense submon- 
tane forest. Parinari excelsa was a dominant species, and Parkia bigh- 
bosa a prominent constituent. The higher altitude areas of the 
Dorsale Guineenne such as Nimba, the Simandou range and the 
Ziama massif, also bear forests in which Pannan is common, becom- 
ing dominant with increasing altitude. In the Ziama massif above 
Seredou, Parinari becomes frequent and tree-ferns (Cyathea sp.) 
appear in valleys at about 700 m altitude. This corresponds to the 
level at which mist cover becomes regular (Bourque and Wilson, 
1990). A similar progression, with slight variations in the levels at 
which the changes take place, is found on the slopes of Mt Nimba. 

Mangroves 

Areas of mangrove occur along the entire coast of Guinea, except 
on rocky promontories, and particularly around its many river 
estuaries. Species include Rhizophora hamsomi (the commonest 
species), R. racemosa, R. mangle, Avicennia africana and 
Laguncularia racemosa. 

Present cover is estimated at 2500 sq. km (Altenburg and van 
der Kamp, 1989), while the original cover was reckoned to be in 
the order of 3000 sq. km (MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 1986). 
Map 22.1 shows an area of 2963 sq. km of mangroves remaining 
in the country. The main human activities in the mangrove areas 
are fishing, firewood cutting and rice production (Altenburg and 
van der Kamp, 1989). A considerable amount of wood from the 
mangroves is used as fuel for salt extraction. It is believed that 
about 780 sq. km has been cleared for rice fields alone, which sug- 
gests that MacKinnon and MacKinnon's figure for original cover 
was an underestimate. The government of Guinea is very con- 
cerned about the degradation and loss of mangroves (Republique 
de Guinee, 1987) as they help sustain numerous economic activi- 
ties and afford protection to the coast and its hinterland. 

Forest Resources and Management 

The original moist forest cover (evergreen, semi-deciduous, sub- 
montane and the moist forest element of the savanna/forest mosaic, 
but excluding mangroves) was around 182,800 sq. km or 74 
per cent of the country (MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 1986). 
Much of this was lost long ago, particularly on the Fouta Djallon, 
although considerable areas of semi-deciduous forest may still have 
been present at the turn of the century (Republique de Guinee, 
1987). The semi-deciduous, drier, moist evergreen and northern 
submontane forests are now reduced to scattered and degraded 
relicts. Nonetheless a good example of coastal semi-deciduous for- 
est remains at Kamalaya in the Prefecture of Forecariah where it 
is protected by its position in a deep valley. In addition, fragments 



of the Fouta Djallon forests persist in a number of forest reserves. 
However, the only extensive forest is now concentrated in Guinee 
Forestiere in the moist evergreen zone of the south-east. 

Various figures of forest cover have been published, but method- 
ological differences and the rapidly changing situation mean that 
the figures are not consistent. FAO (1988) estimated that, in 1980, 
as much as 20,500 sq. km of 'closed broadleaved forest' remained 
in the country. However, Republique de Guinee (1987) reported 
that only 10,750 sq. km of 'foret dense' existed at that time. More 
recent estimates are 5887 sq. km of forest with dense or medium 
canopy cover (Atlanta, 1989) and 3970 sq. km of 'foret dense' 
(Esteve et ai, 1986). Map 22.1 indicates a figure intermediate 
between these two estimates: 4482 sq. km of lowland rain forest 
are shown and 2 1 sq. km of montane forest, giving a total of 4692 
sq. km of dryland closed forest (Table 22.1). 

The largest remaining areas, and the only ones containing exten- 
sive primary forest, are the forest reserves of Ziama (1 123 sq. km, of 
which c. 750 sq. km is high forest) and Diecke (556 sq. km of which 
520 sq. km is high forest). Other forest areas are found on Mt Nimba, 
at the Cote d'lvoire frontier near Nzo (Forest of Dere) and within 
the Pic de Fon and Mt Bero Forest Reserves. Smaller relicts persist 
elsewhere, including on the Diani River and on the Liberian 
frontier in the Prefecture of Yomou and in the Gama region. 

Forest management and wildlife conservation is the responsi- 
bility of the Direction Nationale des Forets et Chasses (DNFC), 
within the Ministere de I'Agriculture et des Ressources Animales. 
The basis of the forest estate is the network of forest reserves 
(Forets Classees) largely created before independence and cover- 
ing some 1 1,000 sq. km in total. Areas protected for wildlife con- 
servation are also under the aegis of the DNFC; indeed, in broad 
terms, it has responsibility for the management of all forest 
resources and land not converted for agriculture or other uses. 

After independence the exploitation of natural forest concentrated 
upon the evergreen forest zone of Guinee Forestiere where valuable 
timber species were found within reach of good access to the sea, by 
way of Cote d'lvoire and Libena. Timber was extracted from the 
forests of eastern Guinee Forestiere at Lola, Nzo and Gama, while 
the more accessible northern sectors of the Diecke Reserve were 
managed to supply a sawmill and plywood factory at Nzerekore. Part 
of a 300 sq. km concession at Maluetta in the Ziama Reserve was 
also exploited, with a sawmill (attached to the Forestry Centre) and 
chipboard factory at Seredou. By the early 1980s all these state 
enterprises had effectively ceased to function. Both the chipboard 
and plywood factories had closed down completely and the sawmills 
operated at a very reduced rate, adequate only to keep them in 
working order and to provide a living for the workforce. The Seredou 
and the Nzerekore sawmills have both now been sold into private 
ownership. Although in 1 989, FAO ( 1 99 1 ) recorded exports of 8000 
cu. m of industrial roundwood from the country, log and timber 
exports are now prohibited. However, reliable data on the forest 
industry are scarce and published figures are contradictory. 



Table 22.1 Estimates of forest extent in Guinea 

Area (sq. km) % of land area 
Ram forests 
Lowland 
Montane 
Mangrove 

Totals 7,655 3.1 

(Based on an analysis of Map 22-1. Sec Map Legend on p. IQQ for details of sources.) 



4,482 


1.8 


210 


<0.1 


2,963 


1.2 



196 



Guinea 



Several inventories and studies were undertaken in the second half 
of die 1980s (e.g. Adanta, 1989; CTFT, 1989) to assess the forest 
resource as a basis for resuscitating the moribund forestry sector. At 
the same time a national forest policy was developed, the 'Politique 
Forestiere et Plan d'Action' (Republique de Guinee, 1987), within 
the framework of the Tropical Forestry Action Plan. This document 
is wide-ranging in scope and places emphasis firmly on the necessity 
to conserve forest cover in order to safeguard environmental qual- 
ity. The policy recognises the need for a protected area network, for 
firm measures to arrest forest loss and to rehabilitate degraded areas 
and the management of the full array of forest values and services 
both for local people and the national economy. 

As a first step towards implementation of the Forest Policy, the 
forest service is to be restructured and its staff strengthened. Forest 
administration is to be decentralised with technical staff of the 
DNFC attached to local administrations at the level of prefectures, 
regions and sectors. 

The inventories have shown that the exploitable timber reserves 
of Guinee Forestiere now stand at an estimated 10.1 million cu. m 
over an area of 1 2,500 sq. km, of which the greater part is dispersed 
in open woodlands (Atlanta, 1989). The forests of eastern Guinee 
Forestiere are depleted to such an extent that they are no longer 
worthy of attention and the relicts are being swiftly cleared. The 
emphasis has therefore shifted to the last two extensive tracts of 
forest, Ziama and Diecke, and a World Bank/KfW-funded project 
(PROGERFOR) to manage these forests commenced in Sept- 
ember 1991 (see section on conservation initiatives below). 

Deforestation 

The major cause of forest loss is the traditional agncultural and pas- 
toral practice in which land is cleared by fire. The Fouta Djallon was 
deforested in this manner in historic times and the drier forest types 
have proved particularly susceptible during this century. The main 
area of loss is now Guinee Forestiere where it is a continuing and 
accelerating process. Depletion of forest cover has been estimated at 
260 sq. km per year (Republique de Guinee, 1987). The general con- 
sensus is that all natural forest outside forest reserves, excepting 
fragments protected by terrain or tradition, is liable to be lost in the 
near future. Even the forest reserves are subject to encroachment. 

The loss of forest to agriculture is driven by population growth, 
estimated at 2.5 per cent a year, and exacerbated by immigration 
from the north following drought and environmental degradation 
in the Sahelian zone during the 1970s and 1980s. More recently, 
the civil war in Liberia has led to an influx of refugees from the 
south, of whom a proportion may be expected to remain. Slash and 
burn agriculture is the norm, with its cycle of forest clearance for 
crops and decreasing fallow periods resulting in loss of productiv- 
ity and the subsequent need to clear fresh forest land. Cash-crop 
planting, principally of coffee, cacao and cola under tree cover, is 
now being promoted as part of the economic revival of the agri- 
cultural sector. This has the effect of putting land under perma- 
nent crops and removing it from the food-producing domain, so 
increasing the need for new land for subsistence cultivation. 

Logging has obviously led to alteration of forest composition and 
structure and has undoubtedly reduced the area of primary forest in 
the country, but has not of itself resulted in total forest loss. Its main 
impact upon forest cover has been to open the way for agricultural 
settlement. In December 1984, it was estimated that 290 sq. km of 
forest remained in the Lola region (Lola, Gama, Nzo) but farmers 
were dispersed throughout the area and deforestation was taking 
place at a rate of 4 sq. km per year. The Gama forests were already 
reduced to degraded fragments and all the forests are expected to be 
lost completely during the 1990s (Esteve et ai, 1986). 




Permanent settlements loithin Diecke Forest Reserve, developed in 
contravention oj regidations. R. Wilson 

Parts of the Ziama and Diecke Forest Reserves were exploited 
under the taungya system whereby, after the timber trees have been 
removed from an area, the local people are allowed to grow crops 
among replanted tree seedlings. The farmers thus keep the seedlings 
clear of weeds for their early years. After three years, they are sup- 
posed to move on and leave the forest to regrow. However, control 
was inadequate and the land became permanently occupied, not only 
where the taungya system was applied but in large adjoining areas as 
well. Fields were still being cut out of the forest in these reserves in 
early 1991, indicating continuing management deficiencies at a local 
level. Rates of forest loss are estimated at 1.5 sq. km and 9.6 sq. km 
per year in Diecke and Ziama respectively (Atlanta, 1989). 

Forest reserves are, in theory, totally protected against agricul- 
tural development. However, encroachment by agro-industrial 
concerns has been tolerated on a small scale. A 3 sq. km quinine 
plantation was established in the Ziama massif in the 1940s and 
has recently passed into private ownership. In 1 990 permission was 
being sought for a concession on a further 25 sq. km in the reserve. 
Another private company occupied land within the forest reserve 
boundary (although on land already cleared of forest) and appar- 
ently intended to plant up to 15 sq. km of a variety of crops includ- 
ing rice, coffee, bananas and papaya. A third company, 
SOGUIPAH, is developing oil palm and rubber plantations in val- 
ley-bottom land on the edge of the Diecke Reserve near Diecke 
town, and may have encroached inadvertently upon the reserve 
boundary. There issues are now being resolved by PROGERFOR. 

Mt Nimba contains valuable iron ore deposits. These are already 
exploited in the Liberian sector of the Nimba range and plans are 
being advanced for a similar development in Guinea. If these are 
realised, one may foresee increased pressure for land for a grow- 
ing population attracted by the mining operations, increased 
demands for fuel and construction wood, and direct damage result- 
ing from the mining itself or its associated pollution. The forests 
of the area are thus under permanent threat of degradation and 
loss. The Guinean government is acutely aware of the environ- 
mental implications of mining development on Nimba, which 
includes a Man and the Biosphere (MAB) reserve and a World 
Heritage site. Although the revised mining plans will definitely 
involve the loss of about 150 ha of submontane forest, the remain- 
ing 11,850 ha on the massif will be contained within the World 
Heritage site and the MAB core zone, which has been enlarged to 
include the Forest of Dere. A management plan for the MAB reserve 



197 



Guinea 



has been drawn up, which provides for improved conservation man- 
agement. It IS hoped that these measures will minimise or offset the 
impacts of the mine and lead to better protection overall. 

The hydro-electric dam scheme on the Diani River will, if car- 
ried through, create a 470 sq. km lake, covering about 74 sq. km 
of Ziama Forest Reserve. Around 50 sq. km of dense and medium 
tree cover is likely to be flooded (Atlanta, 1 989) of which 7 sq. km, 
all within the reserve, would be closed canopy forest. 

The overall situation, then, is one of heavy deforestation that 
has resulted in the disappearance of 96 per cent of Guinea's orig- 
inal forest cover. Unless firm measures are adopted without delay, 
and vigorously implemented, the remainder may well not survive. 

Biodiversity 

The forests of Guinea form part of the Upper Guinea forest block, 
isolated from the rest of the Guineo-Congolian forests by the more 
arid Dahomey Gap. The Upper Guinea forests contain a distinc- 
tive flora and fauna and constitute the 'Upper Guinea centre of 
endemism'. Although the forests within the Republic of Guinea 
are now greatly reduced in total extent, important tracts remain 
and are valuable for the conservation of biodiversity. 

Only Nimba has been thoroughly studied and proved to be of 
outstanding importance. New information from Ziama and Diecke 
(Bourque and Wilson, 1990) shows that these forests are also 
among the most important in the region. A preliminary' reworking 
of the priority scores used by Collar and Stuart (1988) to assess 
the relative importance of forests for the conservation of African 
birds, shows Nimba to be the third most important in the region, 
Ziama the fourth and Diecke the seventh. Threatened and 'near- 
threatened' bird species in these forests include the western wat- 
tled cuckoo-shrike Campephaga lobata, yellow-throated olive 
greenbul Cnmger olivaceiis, white-necked rockfowl PicLirhtincs gym- 
nocepliLihts, Nimba flycatcher Mdaeiioniis annamandae and black- 
headed stream warbler Bailunocercus cen<iniventris (Collar and 
Stuan, 1985; Bourque and Wilson, 1990). A further six threatened 
and near-threatened species are known to occur just over the bor- 
der in the non-Guinean sectors of Nimba. The white-breasted 
guineafowl Agelastcs mcleagrides is now believed to be extinct in the 
region (Collar and Stuart, 1985). 

The following threatened mammal species are known, or 
strongly suspected to occur, in the moist forests of Guinea: diana 
monkey Cercophhccus diana, red colobus Procohbus [badiiis] badiiis, 
olive colobus Pwcolobus vems, chimpanzee Pan troglodytes, leopard 
Panthera pardus, African elephant Loxondonta africana, and pygmy 
hippopotamus Choeropsis liberiensh (lUCN, 1987; Bourque and 
Wilson, 1990). The manatee Trichechns senegalensis occurs in the 
coastal regions in the north of the country (lUCN, 1988). A num- 
ber of little-known and rare species have been recorded, including 
Johnston's genet Gcnctia jolinstoni, lesser otter shrew AUcw- 
potamogale lamottei, slender-tailed giant squirrel Proloxenis aiibin- 
mi and golden cat Felis aiirata (lUCN, 1987; Schreiber el a/. , 1 989; 
Bourque and Wilson, 1990). Others, notably the Liberian mon- 
goose Liberiictis kiihnii, are known from the Guinean frontier 
regions in neighbouring countries (Schreiber et al., 1989). 

Among the reptiles, the threatened West African dwarf crocodile 
Osteolaemus leiraspis is found in Ziama and Diecke (Bourque and 
Wilson, 1990), while several other rare and endemic reptiles have 
also been recorded. Eleven species of endemic or near endemic 
amphibians occur (WCMC, 1987). Of particular interest, although 
it is not a forest species, is the viviparous toad Nectophrynoides occi- 
denralis, known from only the Guinean and Cote d'lvoire sectors of 
Mt Nimba. Little is known about the invertebrates, but it is certain 
that some of these too will be rare and endemic. 



Some 99 plant species or subspecies are believed to be endemic 
to Guinea, of which 37, including those of forests and forest relicts, 
are considered threatened (lUCN, 1988). The imponant centres of 
plant endemism are the highland areas of the Dorsale Guineenne 
(particularly Nimba) and the Fouta Djallon. A number of the high 
value timber trees, such as Entandrophragma spp., Khaya spp., and 
Milicia excelsa, are considered endangered or priorities for genetic 
resource conservation, or both (FAO, 1986;Read, 1990). Some wild 
species, notably Coffea spp., may have value for crop improvement. 

The fauna and flora of Guinea's forests, with the exception of 
Nimba, remain poorly known and their full importance for biodi- 
versity conser\-ation may well prove to be greater than the consid- 
erable value that can already be attributed to them. Given the rates 
of deforestation and the level of hunting now taking place in the 
remaining tracts, however, all forest-dependent species must be 
considered vulnerable, if not endangered on a national scale. 

Conservation Areas 

The strict nature reserve on Guinean Mt Nimba (140 sq. km) was 
created in 1944, declared a Biosphere reserve in 1980 and desig- 
nated a World Heritage site in 1981. Boundary changes to the 
Biosphere reserve and a renomination of the World Heritage site 
took place in 1991, to take proper account of the mining pro- 
posals that postdated the earlier designations. The Biosphere 
reserve core zones now cover the whole of the Guinean sector of 
the Nimba massif with the e.xception of 800 ha directly affected by 
the planned mine, and include some 1 1,800 ha of forest. They also 
cover the Forest of Dere (8920 ha) and a small forest at Bossou. 
The non-forested areas on Mt Nimba are clothed in savannas and 
upland grassland formations. The exceptional biological diversity 
of Mt Nimba can, in great measure, be attributed to the variety of 
distinct vegetation types and their ecotones. 

The Ziama Forest Reserve was declared a Biosphere reser\'e in 
1980, covering 1 162sq. km. In pnnciple all forest reserves in Guinea 
constitute conser\'ation areas for wildlife, with prohibitions on hunt- 
ing and other unauthorised activities. The most recent Guinean pro- 
tected area to be created, the Badiar National Park, is not a moist 
forest site. (See Table 22.2 for a list of conservation areas.) 

Hunting and agricultural encroachment occur within the 
boundaries of all Guinean forest conservation areas. The Mt 
Nimba Strict Nature Reserve is relatively well protected from these 
pressures but as noted above its future is threatened by the possi- 
bility of full-scale mining operations. 



Table 22.2 Conservation areas of Guinea. Forest reserves are not 
included or mapped. For data on Biosphere reserves and World 
Heritage sites see chapter 9. 





Existing area 


Proposed area 




(sq. km) 


(sq. km) 


National Parks 






Badiar 


382 




Stria Nature Reserves 






Mt Nimba* 


140 




Bird Reserves 






Alkatrazf 




nd 


Tristaof 




nd 


Totals 


522 





[Sou 



■ lUCN. 1990, WCMC, m liir) 



' Area with moist forest within its boundaries according to Map 22. 1 . 
t Area not mapped in this Atlas. 



198 



Guinea 



Initiatives for Conservation 

Under the Sekou Toure regime between the 1960s and the early 
lQ80s nature conservation was given a very low prioriry in Guinea 
(MacKinnon and MacKinnon, 1986). This situation has altered 
and conservation is now a matter of great government concern. 
Although conditions on the ground still reflect previous neglect, a 
range of initiatives has been launched with the potential to achieve 
real improvements. 

The key policy statement upon which this revitalisation is based 
is the National Forest Policy, while the process of developing a 
national Environmental Action Plan was begun in 1989. Aspects 
of the Forest Policy relating to subsistence and spon hunting and 
to the creation of protected areas are given a legal framework in 
the new 'Code de la Protection de la Faune Sauvage et de la 
Reglementation de la Chasse', drafted in 1988 and now gazetted 
(Republique de Guinee, 1988). 

The Badiar National Park is already established and a number 
of other sites have been identified as potential protected areas. 
These include Bossou (near Nimba) and Oure-Kaba in the moist 
forest region, and lies Tristao, a coastal site with mangrove and 
considerable ornithological interest. However, except for Bossou 
and Tristao, the identification of the sites is based largely on anec- 
dotal information and there is a recognised need for proper survey 



and inventory work upon which to base the further development 
of the protected area programme. 

At present it seems that moist forests are under-represented, 
given their national and international importance, in the array of 
sites under consideration for protected area status. This makes it 
all the more important that the forest reserves should be well man- 
aged. A project for the management of the Ziama and Diecke for- 
est reserves, the strengthening of the management capability of 
DNFC and the clarification of land rights in the vicinity of the two 
reserves, is seen as an important step in this respect. This project 
began, with World Bank and German funding, in September 1991. 

An assessment of the special problems of Nimba is being under- 
taken by a pilot project initiated in 1989 by UNDP and Unesco. 
This project, which has a strong fundamental research element, is 
being executed by the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and 
Environment (which is also responsible for mining affairs) and the 
Directorate of Scientific and Technical Research. 

The policy framework for forest conservation in Guinea has 
largely been established. The issues now revolve around the trans- 
lation of policy into appropriate practical action. The results 
remain to be seen but the next decade is a critical one in which the 
remaining forests of Guinea will either be adequately protected or 
irrevocably degraded and lost. 



References 

Altenburg, W. and van der Kamp, J. ( 1 989) Etude Omithologique 

Prelinunaire de la Zone Cotiere du Nord-oiiesi de la Gidnee. ICBP 

Study Report No. 30. ICBP, Cambridge, UK. 
Atlanta Consult Industrie-und Unternehmensberatung GmbH 

(1989) Invemaire Forestier de la Guinee Forestiere (2 vols. 

Rappon de Synthese and Rapport Technique). 
Bourque, J. D. and Wilson, R. ( 1 990) Rappon de I'Entde d'linpact 

Ecologique d'un Projet d'Amenagemenl Forestier Conceniam les 

Forets Classees de Ziama et de Diecke en Republique de Guiiiee. 

Unpublished repon to lUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 
Collar, N. J. and Stuart, S. N. (1985) Threatened Birds of Africa 

and Related Islands. The ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book Part 1. 

ICBP/IUCN, Cambridge, UK. 761 pp. 
Collar, N. J. and Stuart, S. N. (1988) Key Forests for Threatened 

Birds in Africa. ICBP Monograph No. 3. ICBP, Cambridge, UK. 
CTFT (1989) Potentialities et Possibilites de Relance L'Actwite 

Forestiere. Synthese Regionale et National. 
Esteve, J., Labrousse, R. and Laurent, D. (1986) Guinee Forestiere: 

Potentialites et Possibilites de Relance de I 'Activite Forestiere. Secretariat 

d'Etat aux EaiLX et Forets, Ministere des Ressources Naturelles, de 

I'Energie et de I'Environnement, Republique de Guinee. 
FAO (1986) Databook on Endangered Tree and Shrub Species and 

Provenances. FAO Forestry Paper 77. FAO, Rome, Italy. 
FAO (1988) An Intenin Report on the State of Forest Resources in 

the Developing Countnes. FAO, Rome, Italy. 18 pp. 
FAO (1991) FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 1978-1989. FAO 

Forestry Series No. 24 and FAO Statistics Series No. 97. FAO, 

Rome, Italy. 
IUCN(1987) The lUCN Directoiy of Afrotropical Protected Areas. 

lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. xix + 1 043 pp. 
lUCN (1988) Guinea: Conservation of Biological Diversity and 

Forest Ecosystems. Briefing document for lUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland. 13 pp. 
MacKinnon, J. and MacKinnon, K. (1986) A Review of the 

Protected Area System in the Afrotropical Realm. lUCNAJNEP, 



Gland, Switzerland. 259 pp. 
Read, M. (1990) Mahogany: Forests or Furniture? FFPS, 

Brighton, UK. 
Republique de Guinee (1987) Politique Forestiere et Plan d'Action. 

Plan d'Action Forestier Tropical. Conakry, Guinea. 
Republique de Guinee (1988) Code de la Protection de la Faune 

Sauvage et Reglementation de la Chasse. Conakry, Guinea. 
Schreiber, A., Wirth, R., Riffel, M. and Van Rompaey, H. 

( 1 989) Weaseb, Civets, Mongooses and their Relatives. An Action Plan 

for the Conseivation of Mustelids and Vivemds. lUCN/SSC Mustelid 

and Viverrid Specialist Group. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 
WCMC ( 1 987) The A mphibians ofAfnca. Unpublished report. 
White, F. (1983) The Vegetation of Africa: a descriptive memoir to 

accompany the Unesco/AETFAT/UNSO vegetation map of Africa. 

Unesco, Paris, France. 356 pp.. 

Authorship 

Roger Wilson, FFPS, London with contributions from H. F. 
Maitre, CTFT, Nogent-sur-Mame, France. 

Map 22.1 Forest cover in Guinea 

Rain forests and protected areas for Guinea are taken from a vegetation map which 
accompanies the repon entitled Poicnimlitii ei Possihiliies dc Rc/aricc de I'Aaivite 
Forcsiierc, CTFF ( 1 989); S\Ti these Regionale et Nationale. This is a senes of detailed 
maps covering each prefecture within Guinea. The land use map, drawn by CTFT 
in 1 989 at a scale of 1:700,000 IS a smthesis of work carried out in 1985 (south-east: 
forest zone), 1986 (west) and 1987 (centre and north-east: Upper Guinea). The 
data are derived from 1979-80 aerial photography taken by the Japan International 
Cooperation Agency (JICA) and updated using Landsat MSS 1984-1985-1986 
imagery. Vegetation has been classified into 29 different categories (A 1-7 through 
to El-7, R, M) within six biogeographical regions. To compile Map 22.1 the 
following categories have been extracted: A2 ('Foret dense humide' - Guinee 
Forestiere), B3 ('Foret d'altitude' - Fouia Djalon et Contre-Fons), B6 ('Reliques 
de foret dense humide en voie defrichement' - Guinee Forestiere) and M 
('Mangroves - degradees' - Guinee Occidentale et Maritime). Ixiwland and montane 
rain forest and mangroves are shown on Map 22.1. Badiar National Park and Mt 
Nimba Strict Nature Reserve are also delimited by the CTFT map. 



199 



23 Guinea- 
Bissau 



Land area 28, 1 20 sq. km 

Population (mid- 1990) 1 million 

Populotion growth rote In 1990 2 1 per cent 

Population projected to 2020 2 million 

Gross notional product per capita (1988) USSI60 

Closed broodleaved forest (end 1980)* 6600 sq km 

Annuol deforestation rote (1981-5)' 1/0 sq km 

Industrial roundwood production! 1 45,000 cu m 

Industrial roundwood exports! nd 

Fuelwood and charcoal productionf 422,000 cu m 

Processed wood production! 16,000 cu m 

Processed wood exports! 2000 cu m 

• F« (19881 

t 1989 dale tiom 110(1991) 




Guinea-Bissau, formerly Portuguese Guinea, is one of the smallest and poorest countries in Africa. Little is known about 
the natural history of the country. Once covered by a mosaic of lowland forest and woodland, the original vegetation has 
now largely been cleared and secondary grasslands and savannas dominate most of the land. The main factors that con- 
tributed to the destruction of the vegetation were the growing of groundnuts during the colonial era, the bad planning of 
dam construction for rice growing during the 1970s, development of cashew plantations (mostly provoked by the policies 
of liberalism supported by the World Bank and the IMF) and forest exploitation from the 1980s onwards. 

Guinea-Bissau's coastal zone is one of the most important in Africa. Vast expanses of mangrove along the coast and on 
the offshore islands provide a valuable forest resource encompassing important fishing grounds and a haven for wildlife, 
especially for aquatic mammals such as manatees, otters, dolphins and large populations of migrating palaearctic birds. A 
protected area system has not yet been established, but a number of important sites, mainly in the extensive coastal and 
estuarine mangroves and intertidal mudflats, have been selected for conservation. Major initiatives are under way to sur- 
vey these and other critical ecosystems. In addition, a National Conservation Strategy is being prepared with special empha- 
sis on coastal zone management and the development of the protected areas network. 



Introduction 

Guinea-Bissau is situated on the Atlantic coast between 
10°55'-12°40'N and 13°38'-16°43'W, bounded by Senegal to the 
north and Guinea to the south and east. The topography is gener- 
ally low-lying, rising from sea-level in the west to low mountains 
in the east. These mountains represent a continuation of the Fouta 
Djallon in Guinea, the highest point in Guinea-Bissau being only 
262 m. Most of the country comprises a wide coastal plain charac- 
terised by mangrove-stabilised estuaries and meandering, sluggish 
rivers that flow roughly south-west towards the coast. Over the cen- 
turies, the continuously rising sea level has created a large number 
of creeks with higher mainland tongues in between. The Geba- 
Corubal, Cacheu, Grande de Buba, Cacine and Mansoa are the 
largest rivers in the region. Wide intertidal mud flats almost link 
the Bijagos Archipelago (comprising 50 islands of varying sizes and 
about 30 small islets) with the other coastal islands Qeta, Pecixe, 
Bolama and Melo) and the continent. A low plateau succeeds the 
coastal plain towards the higher ground in the east. 

The tropical climate is seasonal, with a wet season from June to 
October, and a drier season from November to May dominated by 
the dry Harmattan wind. Most of the country receives 1500-2000 
mm of rain per year, but in the south-east, annual precipitation 
averages more than 2000 mm. Over the past ten years, precipita- 
tion has declined with a shortening of the rainy season and the 
appearance of brief dry periods during the wet season (lUCN, 
1085). Mean temperatures in the capital, Bissau, are 25°C in the 
coolest month and 28°C in the hottest. 

This countn,- is one of the world's poorest with over 70 per cent 
of the people living in rural areas, usually in small villages. The 



mean population density is around 27 people per sq. km with 
approximately 60 per cent occupying the coastal region and 40 per 
cent the plateau area (WCMC, 1991); the central eastern region 
is very sparsely populated (FAOAJNEP, 1981). Even though the 
country is small, there are at least 20 ethnic groups, the main ones 
being the Balante (27 per cent of the population in 1979), the 
Fulani (23 per cent), the Mandjako (1 1 per cent) and the Malinke 
(12 per cent) (Paxton, 1990). 

Guinea-Bissau has a subsistence economy but is not self-suffi- 
cient in food and has to rely heavily on international aid. Eighty 
per cent of the population worked in the agricultural sector in 1986 
(including forestry and fishing). The staple food is rice, with about 
70 per cent of the rice production taking place in the region of 
Tombali in the south. Other crops include groundnuts, sorghum, 
cassava, maize, beans, coconut, cashews, millet, palm nuts and 
sweet potato. Over the past decade the government has encour- 
aged the establishment of cashew plantations to earn foreign 
currency. For this purpose, it has granted concessions to private 
producers on 45 per cent of the territon.', causing numerous land 
conflicts over the whole countr>'. 

Forests 

Closed broadleaved forests occur on the lowland plain and along 
the coast. The latter was once totally covered by mangrove, 
flooded savannas and coastal shrub savannas. The lowland 
forests of the Guinea-Congolian/Sudanian transition zone 
(White, 1983) are closely related to those of coastal Guinea, 
Liberia and Sierra Lconc. Thev still cover small areas of the 



200 



Guinea-Bissau 



Tombali and Quinara regions to the south of the country and of 
the Cacheu region in the north-west. The canopy height is 30 m 
or more with the principal species being Afzelia ajncana, Ahtonia 
congensis, Amsophyllea lamina, Aiitiaris africana, Ceiba pentandra, 
Deiarium seiiegalense, Dialium guineense, Elaeis guineensis, 
Erythrophleum guineense, Ficus spp., Milicia exceha and Parinari 
excelsa. Lianas, Raphia and rattans are also well developed 
(SCET International, 1978). In the north of the country there 
are significant areas of palm groves (Elaeis spp.) and of more scat- 
tered Borassus aethwpum. 

'Semi-dry' broadleaved forests predominate in the centre of the 
country (SCET International, 1978). Again, as in the lowland 
forests, the principal tree species are Afzelia africana, Erythrophleum 
guineense, Parinari excelsa together with the African mahogany 
Khaya senegalensis. 

The interior is dominated by a mosaic of open forest and tree 
savanna, characterised by a continuous grass-cover and some 
gallery forest along streams. These secondary vegetation types of 
woodland and tree savanna, covering more than 10,000 sq. km in 
1975 (FAO/UNEP, 1981), have developed from the original 
closed forests as a result of repeated fires. 

Mangroves 

The country still supports important areas of mangroves; in fact 
the mosaic of mangroves and coastal flats in Guinea-Bissau is the 
largest of this habitat type in Africa (FAOAJNEP, 1981). 
Historically 1 1 per cent of the country was covered with mangroves 
(lUCN, 1988). They clothe the coast and estuarine shores and 
penetrate deep inland up the tidal waters of the six major estuar- 
ies. For instance, mangrove habitat reaches 100 km inland follow- 
ing the Cacheu River, before grading into palm swamps and fresh 
water swamp forest. However these mangroves are being cleared 
and transformed into flooded grassy areas, colonised by palm 
groves at the edges. 



The entire coast is mangrove covered except for areas south of 
Cape Roxo and north of the Cacheu River mouth, a 3 km strip 
south of Point Cabaciera and a 15 km strip along Varela Bay. 
Mangroves also occur on numerous offshore mudflats along the 
coast. The offshore islands are only partly fringed by mangroves, 
as the islands of the Bijagos Archipelago are old hilltops and, in 
places, they rise steeply from the sea. In the Bijagos, mangroves 
cover appro.ximately 30 per cent of the area. 

According to EDWIN (1987), mangroves cover an area of approx- 
imately 2 360 sq. km (8 per cent of the country) . Once they were more 
extensive; along the Cacheu River system alone there were 1 1 10 sq. 
km of mangrove forest and 130 sq. km of fresh water swamp forest 
(Hughes and Hughes, 1991). It has been suggested that in 1975 there 
were approximately 2500 sq. km of tidal forest in Guinea-Bissau but 
that by 1986 15-20 per cent had been cleared for conversion of the 
land to rice farming (Hughes and Hughes, 1991). Reclamation of 
mangrove areas for rice cultivation by traditional techniques involves 
the construction of 1.5-2 m high dykes along tidal creeks, so that the 
land behind the dykes is no longer inundated at high tide. 

Vegetation is dominated by the genus Rhizophora [racemosa, 
mangle and harrisonii) and Avicemiia africana, while in the south of 
the country Lagunculana racemosa and Conocarpus erectus are 
found. The higher sandy islands in the mangroves are colonised by 
the oil palm Elaeis guineensis which is often present in almost pure 
stands in low lying areas behind the mangrove fringe. 

Mangrove areas are now experiencing large rainfall deficits and 
increasing salinity. In an attempt to improve conditions for rice 
cultivation, anti-salt barriers have been constructed. These unfor- 
tunately have had adverse effects on the environment because of a 
lack of understanding of soil science and hydrodynamics, as well 
as of social considerations, land regimes and migration. Entire 
creeks have been isolated from the sea, cutting off the life-line of 
the remaining mangrove ecosystem. More than 40 of these anti- 
salt barrages have been constructed (EDWIN, 1987). 



Mangroves cleared to make way for rice fields in Guinea-Bissau. The dyke prevents sea water flooding into the fields. 



J. Pierot/IUCN 




201 



Guinea-Bissau 




202 



Guinea-Bissau 



As in other countries, the mangroves are an important source of 
fuelwood, timber for construction and medicmal products. They 
also play a vital role as nursery and breeding areas for fish and shell- 
fish and are an important habitat for other wildlife, particularly for 
palaearctic migratory birds. Conversion of mangroves has dis- 
rupted fresh water supplies and caused soil acidification. lUCN 
(1985) has argued that government agricultural schemes must be 
coordinated with coastal lowland conservation measures. 

lUCN is collaborating with the Ministry of Rural Development 
to plan future development in the coastal zone, including the iden- 
tification of conservation areas. The establishment of three pro- 
tected areas in the coastal zone has been recommended. These are 
Cantanhez Forest in the south, the Lagoa de Cufada (the first 
Ramsar site in Guinea-Bissau) (Scott and Pineau, 1 990) and man- 
groves of the Cacheu River. In addition, it is proposed that a 
Biosphere reserve incorporating all the Bijagos islands be set up. 
The project in the coastal zone will be the first to be developed 
under the National Conservation Strategy for Guinea-Bissau. It 
builds upon a study, initiated in 1 986 by WWF, that examined the 
threat to the wildlife resources of the mangroves posed by exces- 
sive ricefield development, and which also identified sites of spe- 
cial interest that would merit protection in the form of reserves or 
parks (WAVE, 1987). 

Forest Resources and Management 

The FAO/UNEP Tropical Forest Resources Assessment Project 
at the end of 1980, estimated closed broadleaved forest cover to 
be 6600 sq. km (FAO, 1988) or 23.5 per cent of the country. A 
government study in 1985 estimated dense humid forest at 2209 sq. 
km, moderately dense forest at 1133 sq. km and 'semi-dry' dense 
forest at 1285 sq. km. It is likely that this area has been further 
depleted since then. Map 23.1 has been generated from a hand 
drawn original and it appears likely that both the mangroves and the 
dryland forest in the south are more fragmented than shown here. 
Because of the unreliability of the source map, the forest area statis- 
tics measured from Map 23.1 must also be regarded with caution 
and hence are not quoted at the beginning of this chapter nor pre- 
sented as a table. However, for the readers' interest, Map 23.1 shows 
5368 sq. km of lowland rain forest and 3491 sq. km of mangrove. 

Since the early 1980s, forests in the Tombali area have suffered 
heavy pressure from the development of fruit farming and rice cul- 
ture. A decrease in the size of the semi-dry forests of Quinara is 
attributable to bush fires, expansion of cashew plantations and tim- 
ber exploitation. Huge tracts of forest between Mansoa, Bafata and 
Mansaba have been cleared and almost no moist forest now exists 
between Bula in the west and Gabu in the east. 

The Ministry of Rural Development and Agriculture is respon- 
sible for the management of forests and wildlife through the 
Directorate General of Forestry. No forest reserves have been cre- 
ated by the government, but over the entire country small forest 
zones, commonly called 'sacred forests', are protected by different 
ethnic groups for religious reasons. Timber exploitation is prohib- 
ited but hunting is permitted in some of these forests. 

The government is promoting timber extraction as a main 
source of foreign revenue. Nine timber species are exploited. The 
primary commercial species is Khaya senegalensis with about 
1 0,000 cu. m of rough sawn timber produced per year, while afzelia 
Afzelia afncana and iroko Milicia cxceha have a combined annual 
yield of around 2500 cu. m oftimber (FAO/UNEP, 1981). Prosopis 
afncana is an important source of fuelwood and charcoal in the 
north of the country. In 1989 FAO estimated industrial round- 
wood production to be 145,000 cu. m and fuelwood and charcoal 
production to be 422,000 cu. m (FAO, 1991). 



Other non-timber products are obtained from the forest. Bamboo 
is very versatile and is valued for basketwork, fencing and furniture- 
making while palms are used to make wine and oil. Many different 
plant species are collected for use in traditional medicine such as the 
leaves and the roots of Combretwii and the bark of the Khaya 
mahogany. Numerous fruits are also collected from the forest. 

Deforestation 

FAO (1988) estimates that 170 sq. km of closed broadleaved forest 
are lost each year. The principal causes of deforestation relate not 
only to population increase and resulting pressures for more land, 
but also to bushfires and the development of cashew and groundnut 
cultivation, fruit farming, nee culture and timber exploitation. 

Large areas of former closed forest around Mansoa and Bissau 
were cleared for cashew plantations in the 1970s and 1980s, while 
clearance for groundnut, millet and timber has resulted in the loss 
of all closed forest north of a line between Bissau and Gabu. The 
three largest districts, Oio, Bafata and Gabu in the north and east, 
which cover more than half the country, have lost virtually all their 
original sub-humid forest and a large pan of the dense semi-dry 
forests in these areas has also been eliminated. The rate of shifting 
cultivation has increased, and soil exhaustion and erosion are seri- 
ous problems, particularly in these three large districts, as well as 
in the Quinara region where soils prone to erosion are also found. 

As commercially valuable trees are felled, the forest degrades 
and becomes drier; bushfires are more extensive and these hinder 
regeneration. In spite of the existence of vast areas of uncultivated 
land in the north of the country, the moist forests in the south-west 
are still being cleared for agriculture. Between Bambadinca and 
Quebo (Bafata-Tombali Districts), European Development Fund 
schemes are clearing large areas of primary and secondary moist 
forest, primarily for groundnut cultivation, although some timber is 
also being extracted. With the loss of the trees in the more access- 
ible north, the timber industry is increasingly active in more remote 
areas, in particular the ecologically imponant south-west peninsula. 

Road construction has opened up forest lands to loggers, agri- 
culturalists and settlers. In addition, closed forests are threatened 
by rice growing in the western part of the Oio region, the Bafata 
region and the centre and north-west of Gabu. 

Biodiversity 

\'er\' little information is available on the biological diversity of 
Guinea-Bissau. There are no complete faunal or botanical refer- 
ence collections. The Portuguese staned a survey of the flora in 
the late 1960s but this was never completed. About 1000 species 
of plants with 12 endemics are recorded (Davis et at., 1986), but 
there are no reliable estimates of numbers of threatened or rare 
plants. However, a survey of the large mammals was undertaken 
in 1988-9 by the Direction Generale des Forets et de la 
Chasse/Centre Canadien d'Etudes et de Cooperation International 
(DGFC/CECI/UICN, 1989, 1990a, b). 

Stuart et ah (1990) record 109 mammal species, but no 
endemics, in the country. Eleven primates are found including the 
threatened Temminck's red colobus Procolobus fbadiusj badius tem- 
nnnckii, the western black-and-white colobus Colobus polykomos, 
red patas monkey Eryihrocebus patas and Campbell's monkey 
Cercophheciis canipbelli. Ungulates include hippo Hippopotamus 
amphibiiis, bushbuck Tragelaphiis scnptus and several duikers 
Cephalophiis spp. Leopards Panthera pardus still survive and the 
markets at Bissau usually have skins of golden cats Felis aiirata and 
serval F. serval. The chimpanzee Pan troglodytes is probably extinct 
along with the giant eland Tragelaphiis derbianus and bongo 
Tragelaphiis euryceros although all occurred until recentiy. The 



203 



Guinea-Bissau 



status of manatees Tnchechus senegalensis is of concern, and small 
numbers of dolphins are caught in coastal fisheries (Stuart el al., 
1990). Elephants Loxodoiita afncana have been reduced to tiny 
numbers: a herd of 40 was reported as recently as 1988 (Douglas- 
Hamilton, 1988). Because hunting is mosdy for subsistence rather 
than commerce, there is relatively little trade in wildlife or wildlife 
products. Nevertheless, bushmeat is one of the most important 
sources of protein for rural people and over-hundng has almost cer- 
tainly contributed to the depletion of stocks of large mammals. The 
fauna suffered from excessive hunting during the war of liberation, 
as well as from habitat destruction. As a result, rural populations are 
increasingly depending on marine resources for subsistence . 

The precise number of bird species in Guinea-Bissau is 
unknown, and none is listed as threatened by Collar and Stuan 
(1985). Birds of Guinea-Bissau, mainly water birds of the man- 
groves, mudflats and ricefields in the south-west, were surveyed by 
Altenburg and van der Kamp (1985). The mangroves and wet- 
lands are very important for migratory species, huge numbers of 
waders occurring on the inter-tidal mudflats. Wintering species of 
palaearctic waders which were recorded from coastal mudflats and 
mangroves include curlew sandpiper Calidris femiginea, knot C. 
canutus, redshank Tringa wtanus, whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, 
grey plover Phwialus squatarola and bar-tailed godwit Limosa lap- 
pomca. In 1982 ^X'WF (1983/4) carried out a study of these species 
and reported that their population on the coastal wetlands of 
Guinea-Bissau totalled over 1 million. This amounts to 1 2 per cent 
of all the estimated 8 million waders that migrate down the west 
Atlantic seaboard (Altenburg, 1987). 

The reptile fauna is not well documented. It is likely that all three 
species of crocodile (Nile crocodile Crocodylus inloticus, slender- 
snouted crocodile C. catapbractus and dwarf crocodile Oslcolaeiiius 
letraspis) occur in several areas, although the slender-snouted 
species, which naturally occurs in low densities, may be extinct. 
The royal and rock pythons {Python regius and P. sebae) are killed 
for their skins and meat, while other snakes include the common 
tree snake Boaedon Juliginosus, olive grass snake Psammophis sibi- 
lans, green tree mamba Deridwaspis vindis, and half-banded garter 
snake Elapsoidea semianmdaia. The islands to the south of the 
Archipelago probably constitute the most important breeding 
ground for green turtles Chcloma inydas on the West African coast. 
Other tunles to have been recorded are the loggerhead Caretla 
carelta, olive ridley Lepidochelys olivacea, hawksbill Eretmochelys 
inibricara and leather-backed Dermochelys coriacea. One rare 
amphibian species occurs, Pseudhyntenochinis merlini, which can 
also be found in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The dragonfly 
Brachylhemis liberiensis is known only from Guinea-Bissau, though 
there are no recent records. 

Threats to biological diversity arising from habitat degradation 
are evident everywhere in Guinea-Bissau. Shifting cultivation, 
bushfires, inappropriate use of new technology and failure to take 
ecological constraints into account in the National Development 
Plan have resulted in destruction of ecosystems (UNSO/Unesco, 
1984). 

Conservation Areas 

At present Guinea-Bissau has no protected areas other than six 
reserves where hunting is permanently prohibited; the country 
needs to establish a protected area system as a matter of urgency. 
In 1981 it was reported that the government was trying to estab- 
lish a national parks programme (lUCN, 1987) but litde progress 
has been made to date. 

Guinea-Bissau has the chance of incorporating sound conser- 
vadon policies into its national development plans with the elab- 



oration of its National Conservation Strategy (NCS). As part of 
the NCS process, a faunal inventory is under way to identify sites 
of conservation interest in the interior of the country. 

lUCN (1985) has identified six critical sites for palaearctic birds. 
These are: 

• The Bijagos Archipelago, a group of 18 inhabited islands with 
extensive oil palm, mangrove, mudflats and climax woodland. 

• The Cacheu Peninsula. 

• The Basin of the Mansoa and Nhacete rivers includingjeta and 
Pecixe islands with 505 sq. km of mangrove. 

• The Basin of the Geba River and the Corubal River including 
Bolama island. 

• The Basin of the Grande de Buba River where estuarine man- 
grove (170 sq. km) and mudflats meander into patches of dense 
forest. 

• The Basin of the Tombali, Cumbija and Cacine rivers - bio- 
logically the richest area of the country - with extensive man- 
groves (785 sq. km), mudflats and dense closed moist forest 
providing important habitat for the golden cat, cape clawless 
ontr Aonyx capensis and western black-and-white colobus mon- 
keys. Forest elephants have recently disappeared from this site. 

Initiatives for Conservation 

An assessment of the environmental situation and of the exploita- 
tion of natural resources has been undertaken in the coastal zone 
by lUCN in collaboration with the General Directorate of Forests 
and Wildlife (DGFC) and the National Research Institute (INEP). 
The study has concluded that conservation of mangroves is 
urgently required because the rich marine resources are being used 
increasingly by the local population and are also being exploited 
by an uncontrolled fishing industry. The process of privatisation 
of land brings with it over-exploitation of forest resources, includ- 
ing deforestation, and causes social fragmentation of the popula- 
tion and their exodus to urban centres. There is a need to create 
an efficient environmental protection service as well as a protected 
areas network which could involve ecotourism. Areas that should 
be protected include the Cacheu River mangroves, to maintain the 
ecological processes necessary for fishing and for the conservation 
of species such as sitatunga Tragclaphus spekei; the Cufada lagoons 
and their dense open forest mosaics; the remaining patches of sub- 
humid forests of Cantanhez in the south of the country; and the 
zone of Dulombi in the east, for the conservation of large mam- 
mals. As for the Archipelago, preservation zones corresponding to 
the core areas of the Biosphere reserve have been recommended 
on the island of Poilao, for nesting marine turtles; on the islands 
of the Orango complex, for manatees, otters and crocodiles and in 
the bay of Caravela, as well as other as yet imprecisely defined 
marine zones. 

The DGFC collaborates with lUCN, INEP, CECI and the 
Centre International Pour L'Exploitation des Oceans (CIEO) with 
the support of UNDP on the proposal to make the Archipelago a 
Biosphere reserve. DGFC and CECI are preparing the manage- 
ment plan for the Dulombi conservation zone and DGFC and the 
Portuguese Parks Service are doing the same for the proposed 
Cufada National Park. The DGFC and lUCN have established 
preliminary contacts with the Swedish International Development 
Agency (SIDA) for the management of resources of the Grande de 
Buba River and in the Cacheu mangrove conservation zone. A 
Tropical Forestry Action Plan (TFAP) is being prepared with EEC 
support. The elaboration of a National Environmental Strategy 
has begun under the control of the National Environment Com- 
mission, which includes seven ministers under the presidency of 
the Head of State. 



204 



Guinea-Bissau 



References 

Altenburg, W. (1987) Waterfowl in West African Coastal 

Wetlands: A summary of current knowledge. International 

Working Group on Waterfowl and Wader Research, Leiden, 

The Netherlands. WIWO Report IS. 
Altenburg, W, and van der Kamp, J. (1985) Oiseaux d'Eau dans 

Ics Rivieres de la Gitinee-Bissau, Resultats Prehminaires d'un 

Recensemeni entre Mi-noveiiibre et Mi-dece>nbre 1983. 

lUCN/WWF project 3096. lUCN/WWF, Gland, Switzerland. 
Collar, N. J. and Stuart, S. N. (1985) Threatened Birds of Africa 

and Related Islands. The ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book Part 1. 

ICBP/IUCN, Cambridge, UK. 761 pp. 
Davis, S. D., Droop, S. J. M., Gregerson, P., Henson, L., Leon, 

C. J., Villa-Lobos, J. L., Synge, H. and Zantovska, J. 

(1986) Plants in Danger: What do we knotu? lUCN, Gland, 

Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 
DGFC/CECIAJICN (1989) Resultats de I'lnventaire Faunique au 

Niveau National et Propositions de Modifications de la Loi sur la 

Chasse. Bissau. 144 pp. 
DGFC/CECI/UICN (1990a) Propositions d'un Reseau d'Aires 

Protegees en Guinee-Bissau (zone continentale) . Bissau. 154 pp. 
DGFC/CECIAJICN ( 1 990b) Utilisation et Perception de la Faune 

et du Milieu Naturel en Guinee-Bissau. Bissau. 106 pp. 
Douglas-Hamilton, I. (1988) African Elephant Population Study. 

EEC/WWF/Global Environment Monitoring Centre. Nairobi, 

Kenya. 
EDWIN (1987) West Africa Review. Assessment of Environmental 

Impacts of Water Management Projects on Wetlands. EDWIN 

Report No. 1. Compiled by van Ketel, A., Marchand, M. and 

Rodenburg, W. F. Centre for Environmental Studies, Leiden 

University, The Netherlands. 
FAO (1988) An Intenni Report on the State of Forest Resources in 

the Developing Countries. FAO, Rome, Italy. 1 8 pp. 
FAO (1991) FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 1978-1989. FAO 

Forestry Series No. 24 and FAO Statistics Series No. 97. FAO, 

Rome, Italy. 
FAO/UNEP (1981) Tropical Forest Resources Assessment Project. 

Forest Resources of Tropical Africa. Part II: Country Bnefs. FAO, 

Rome, Italy. 
Hughes, R. H. and Hughes, J. S. (1991) A Directory of 

Afrotropical Wetlands. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and 

Cambridge, UK/UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya/WCMC, Cambridge, 

UK. 
lUCN (1985) Guinea-Bissau. Vers TElaboration d'une Strategic 

Nationale de Conservation des Ressources Naturelles. Rapport de 

Mission, CDC, Mai 1985. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 
lUCN (1987) lUCN Directory of Afrotropical Protected Areas. 

lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. .xix + 1 043 pp. 



lUCN (1988) Conservation du Milieu et Utilisation durable des 
Ressources Naturelles dans la Zone Cotiere de la Guinee-Bissau. 
Rapport d'Activite. lUCN and Le Ministere du 
Developpement Rural et de I'Agriculture Republique de 
Guinee-Bissau. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 

Paxton, J. (ed.) (1990) The Statesman's Yearbook 1989-1990. 
Macmillan Reference Books, London, UK. 

SCET International (1978) Potentialite Agncole, Forestieres et 
Pastorals de la Guinee-Bissau. 3 vol. Fonds d'Aide et de 
Cooperation de la Republique Frangaise, Commissariat d'Etat 
a I'Agriculture et a I'Elevage, Commissariat aux Ressources 
Naturelles. Bissau. 

Scott, D. A. and Pineau, O. (1990) Promotion de la Convention de 
Ranisar et Inventaire de la Lagon de Cufada, Guinee-Bissau. 26 pp. 

Stuan, S. N., Adams, R. J. and Jenkins, M. (1990) Biodiversity 
in Sub-Saharan Africa and its Islands. Conservation, Management 
and Sustauiable Use. lUCN, Gland, Switzerland and 
Cambridge, UK. 

UNSOAJnesco (1984) Republique de Guinee-Bissau. Plan 
National d'Action pour Lulter contre la Degradation du Milieu 
Naturel en Guinee-Bissau. Compiled by Bartolucci, I. J. and 
Lepape, M.-C. FMRySC/ECO/84/216 (UNSO). Paris, France. 

WCMC (1991) Guia da Biodiversidade de Guine Bissau. 
Prepardo pelo Centro Mundial de Monitoramento para a 
Concervagao da Natureza, Cambridge, UK. 15 pp. 

White, F. (1983) The Vegetation of Africa: a descriptive memoir to 
accompany the Unesco/AETFAT/UNSO vegetation map of Africa. 
Unesco, Paris, France. 356 pp. 

WWF (1983/4) WWF Yearbook. WWF, Gland, Switzeriand. 

WWF (1987) WWF List of Approved Projects. Africa and 
Madagascar. Vol 4. WWF, Gland, Switzeriand. 

Authorship 

Scott Jones of Bristol University with contributions from Pierre 
Campredon, lUCN, Guinea-Bissau and Pat Dugan, lUCN 
Wetlands Programme, Switzerland. 

Map 23.1 Forest cover in Guinea-Bissau 

Information on rain forest cover is taken from a generalised map (c. 1:1 million) 
hand drawn by the author of the chapter, Scott Jones (1990). It is based on his 
personal experience of the region and shows mangrove and lowland rain forest. His 
map is based on an eariier 1:500,000 Instimto Geografico Nacional (1981) land 
use chart Gume Bissau which has been updated to reveal the devastating forest loss 
in the northern part of the country. The forest areas shown on the hand drawn map 
in the south-east and west of the country include enclaves of cultivation and degraded 
forest and therefore present an overly optimistic view of the forest resources of the 
country. Consequently, statistics for forest extent derived from Map 23.1 are 
considered to be unreliable. There are no protected areas in Guinea-Bissau. 



205 



24 Indian Ocean Islands 



COMOROS 

land oreo 2230 sq km 

Population (mid- 1990) 5 million 

Population growth rate in 1 990 3 4 per (ent 

Population projected to 2020 I 3 million 

Gross national product per capita (1988) USS440 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1 980) ' 1 60 sq. km 

Annual deforcstotion rate ( 1 98 1 -5) ' 5 sq km 

Industrial roundwood production! nd 

Industrial roundwood exportsf nd 

Fuelwood and charcoal production! 308, 1 90 cu m 

Processed wood productionf nd 

Processed wood exportsf nd 

MAURITIUS 

Land area 1850sqkm 

Population (mid- 1990) 1 1 million 

Population growth rate in 1 990 1 3 pei (enl 

Population projected to 2020 I 3 million 

Gross national product per capita (1988) US$1810 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1980)' 30 sq km 

Annual deforestation rate (1981-5)' 1 sq km 

Industrial roundwood productionf 1 3,000 cu. m 

Industrial roundwood exportsf nd 

Fuelwood and charcoal productionf 2 1 ,000 cu. m 

Processed wood productionf 4000 cu. m 

Processed wood exportsf nd 



REUNION 

land area 2500 sq. km 

Population (mid- 1990) 600,000 

Population growth rate in 1990 1 8 pei cent 

Population projected to 2020 800,000 

Gross national product per capita (1988) nd 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1 980)' 820 sq km 

Annual deforestation rate (1981-S)' nd 

Industrial roundwood productionf 2000 cu m 

Industrial roundwood exportsf nd 

Fuelwood and charcoal productionf 3 1 ,000 cu m 

Processed wood productionf 2000 cu m 

Processed wood exportsf nd 

SEYCHELLES 

Land area 2/Osq km 

Population (mid- 1990) 100,000 

Population growth rote in 1 990 I 7 pel cent 

Population projected to 2020 1 73.000 

Gross national product per capita ( 1 988) USS3800 

Closed broadleaved forest (end 1980)' 30 sq km 

Annual deforestation rote (1981-S)' nd 

Industrial roundwood productionf nd 

Industr